Saturday, August 31, 2019

Computer died :(

Yesterday I had the day off work (much needed!). I went into the city and picked up my Walmart grocery order (and found a little quicker short cut to get there). Stopped at Ross and bought a dog bed for our older dog to hopefully lay on when we are in the living room. It was $22. I just couldn't get myself to spend $50-$100 on the ones I saw online.

Then while I was making dinner DH's computer completely died.....just what we needed :(  It started making this clicking noise, wouldn't work. Got it shut down and tried to restart and error message "no operating system found". So, now gotta spend money to get him a new desktop tower. THANK GOD I had just bought that new external hard drive the week before and backed everything up!!

My $49 area rug I bought online arrived. 5x8 size. I really like it....assuming the folds flatten out of it
I'm going to find some throw pillows for the couch and loveseat. Something with a little color in them.

I think the step brother issue is resolved. I tried to call him yesterday morning, but had to leave a message. I know he was going back to see my mom again yesterday. He emailed a really nice email that I got this morning. He explained why he reset all her passwords, gave me list of what he changed. Said she was doing great yesterday and she seems to have contacting the realtor all under control, so he's just going to be a fly on the wall, and help her if she needs it. He said her replacement credit card arrived and I might need to help her get it activated. He said for sure he will keep me in the loop with anything he does for her.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Is this week over yet?

DH finally got to make a little progress on the yard/huge pile of gravel yesterday. For a week or so he had hand shoveled and wheelbarrow-ed what he could. He had asked the guy with the heavy equipment if he could rent his loader for a couple of hours so he could move the rest of the gravel around and put it where it needed to go on our property. The guy said he'd bring it over like 2 weeks ago and then kept putting DH off. Finally, he dropped it off yesterday afternoon. DH used it for about an hour and a half to 2 hours and got that part all done. It would have taken him days/weeks to move all that in a wheel barrow. Then he drove the loader back over to the guys place. I followed him to give him a ride back home. So funny that we are so rural you can do that here with no issues. The guy's place is only a couple of miles away, probably 1/4 mile as the crow flies, but he's on the other side of the river so we had to drive down to the bridge. Now all the gravel is out of the driveway and where it's supposed to be. Now, if we could just get the guy screening the topsoil to show up..........

I just received our most recent electric bill. Similar to last month at $114. I am so pleased with have a/c throughout the house all summer and that's all it costs! I am really anxious to see what bills winter brings. Our HVAC guy says they will be about same. This is because most of the work is being done by the heat pump and not using much electricity.

Well, now my memory is going! All this with mom got me all flustered and I forgot to do something for work yesterday. I was sitting on the couch last night at 9pm and suddenly remembered. I ran upstairs to my desk, got the file transmitted and sent an email off about it. It was ok, I really had until this morning, apparently, but stressed me out for a bit about it. So, I can totally see how my mom, with her memory even more affected, can get so she is forgetting things when she has too much going on, too much info coming at her at once. I've even had that happen to me...I get all stressed out about something, have to use a password for something and suddenly my mind goes blank and I can't remember it (so many different ones for work)...but at least I'm aware enough of how to find it, haha.

She already called a realtor yesterday and he is coming to see her on Tuesday. Awhile back her bf's sister was looking at a place for sale in my mom's little gated community and my mom went with her and talked to this realtor. I guess he has sold quite a few of the places in there and she said she liked him. If for some reason she decides not to use him, I'll have the realtor that sold our home and my inlaw's home take care of it. I'm sure her place will sell very quickly. It's very nice and in great condition. I looked at what homes in her community are selling for (they are mfg homes and they rent the lot) and did a little math in my head with what the retirement/assisted living place will cost. Just from the sale of her place she will have enough from those proceeds to cover about 3 years at this place and not even have to touch her main retirement funds until then.

The place she is moving into would be a small 1 bedroom apartment, with I think a small kitchenette. She can make food, but all meals are provided in the common dining room. She said the only thing extra she would have to pay for is her phone. The place, of course, has lots of activities. Shuttle buses to events and shopping and also rides to doctors appointments. She will keep her car for as long as she can keep driving. Its a brand new place. Her BF just moved there (from living at a different place) this past year.

I did call and talk to my uncle (mom's brother, who's 75) this morning. He has always been good about keeping in regular touch with her at least once a week. He lives about 2 1/2 hours from her, so not very close to visit much. I will also say that I know she "loans" him money pretty regularly....and I can never see where he pays her back (I'll just leave it at that).  I thought maybe he would have insight as to why my step brother changed all this stuff (since SB didn't answer the question when I asked him). My uncle also emails my mom every so often and apparently she got herself messed up with her email log in and couldn't get in. I'm guessing that just so coincided with step brother doing one of his 2-3 times a year visits with her. My uncle talked to step and they decided he should help her. They thought all her stuff should get changed to make sure she didn't get hacked, apparently.

He said the credit card thing got fixed......I'm like I know! I'm the one who fixed it! So, I explained to him exactly what I did to resolve it. He's like oh geez....

and apparently my mom wasn't remembering enough at the time to tell them I already had all this info and they should let me know what is going on.

Just frustrating, because then when she gets all bad, I'm supposed to come take care of it all then!. Like here's what I do not get. SB said in his email "I  know all about her finances and the thing with the credit card" (and supposedly so did my uncle)...........then why didn't they do something to resolve it? they were just going to let her report it as a fraud charge and have the car dealership get charged back for it?........and then that place would have of course gone back to my son and said what the heck? the credit card # you gave us, charged us back. We want our $$.  Then of course DS would have had to call his grandma back to try to figure out what happened..........triggering round 2 of confusion to her mind.  If he knew "all about her finances" then why didn't he know that she was past due 2 months on a credit card bill she didn't know she had? Why isn't he checking into why online her savings account is still showing a $-888,999 balance, for goodness sake?

Now that she's doing better I am going to broach the subject with her again. She needs to decide who she wants handling stuff for her, when she needs help with her finances and computer issues. It just needs to be one person. I'd say 85% of what I/we end up dealing with is pretty much all because of the computer...she can't get it to work, she loses a password or login, she accidentally changes something on her computer, she doesn't understand an email she gets, or how to read what she is looking at online when she is online with her accounts and email. This is all stuff I can pretty dang easily take care of, remotely. Even the "behind the scenes" stuff I do like getting emails into spam folder and blocking spam phone#'s. Other than that kind of stuff, she really doesn't come across too many problems to deal with.  The credit card deal was kind of a "one off" situation.

I was saying to DD....back when my grandparents (her parents) were her age my mom was living in AZ 8 months a year, so a lot of the things that came up to help them with fell to me, who lived in same town. I told DD thank gosh they didn't have a computer back then, haha! I really didn't have to deal with "problems to take care of" - just run errands for them, etc. If my mom didn't have a computer she's be all good- haha! Thank goodness I (and DD) have managed to keep her from getting a smart phone! She would have zero clue how to use it and would just stress her out trying to figure it out.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Advice resolution

So, as I was typing that last post up, most of it got pretty much resolved, at least for now. I hadn't replied anything yet back to my step brother. I always wait until about 10am to call my mom. Give her time to get up and going before I call. She sounded so much better. Back to herself (though of course that includes some short term memory stuff). She said her doctor appointment went well, that her boyfriend was on his way back to his place, and he would email me later (I'm sure he'll have more detailed info). She said the dr. said she is doing well, gave her a test of questions and she could answer all but 2. She said she's decided she will sell her place and is going to move into the assisted living apartment place her bf lives in. What did I think of that (she's been thinking about it, so I knew she has been considering that option). I said I think that would be a great idea!. She will be close to him (which is what I suggested when she first mentioned moving). Plus where he lives is a safer area than where she is now, if she stayed in her general area.

She and I discussed step brother a bit. I didn't tell her about email or anything. I just reminded her that I do have all her info and can help her with a lot of stuff (like I did yesterday with the credit card) even though I don't live close by. She brought up step brother and that she knows he was just trying to help her and she appreciates it but she felt like he got things more confusing for her. She said she felt like she didn't want to tell him she didn't need his help.

She sounded happy with her decision and happy that I thought it was a good idea.

Then I get another email from step brother.  He said I have good news about your mom. She's decided to sell her place and move to assisted living where her BF is...that "they" (meaning him and my other step sibs I guess) are all relieved and hope I am, too. (Apparently he called and talked to her BF.) Said the doctor said she does have some severe short term memory but overall is very cognizant, though he recommended maybe she didn't live alone, and have some assistance. She's doing much better today. Boy, what a difference a day makes!.....

Like he needs to update me about my mom, as if I wouldn't know otherwise? I'm just finding it very condescending that he acts like I moved away and ignore my mom. Like I said, I talk to her regularly, and then even more often when something comes up that needs my help/attention. Usually she spends weekends with her boyfriend. They alternate weekends at each others places, So, I don't usually call her on weekends, since she's busy with him, she has company and someone to talk to. But, I do call her often during the weekdays. DD usually calls her Friday on her way home from work. My uncle calls her at least once a week, he's very good about that.

In the meantime I have texted/emailed about this with my DD and my half sister (not from my mom) as to what they think. They were both like who in the hell is he, who has hardly been around, to tell you what you should be doing?! They both thought he sounded very condescending. They were getting me riled up about it! haha. I said both his emails make me feel like he thinks I just moved away and have been ignoring my mom! DD's still mad. She's like he comes in, makes all these changes on her, suddenly she's all confused and mixed up and now she's moving to assisted living. I did tell her that the move is a good thing. It would have to happen sooner or later.

So, I just replied back a very short email. I said yes, I've talked to her and she told me. I think it's a great idea. I have been monitoring her health and memory for the past year or so and am aware of what is going on. She tends to get confused and really loses her memory when she gets too much thrown on her at one time, so I have been working/watching to try to help cut down those instances. This past few days was the worst she's ever had with it all.  Thank you for your help with her.

She called me again just now. She had a question about a weird (spam) email she got. So, I was glad she remembered to call me to ask first. We talked about her moving down where her BF lives and again she asked if I thought that was a good idea. I just said "well, short of you moving somewhere like that close to me....being down with your BF facility is the next place I'd like you to be. She was pretty tickled that I said that. I just never thought she would want to live here at all....but it gave her something to think about!

Advice please

I know you all will give me some good advice here.

First, let me start off by saying I'm not trying to say I'm doing enough for my mom, but of course as she ages, it will all be a process of making adjustments for both of us. Like my boss told me, when she was dealing with her aging mom (who lived in another state), it was a learning process and they adjusted as they went along.  With me being 400 miles away, it takes a bit of creativity on handling some of it.

I had emailed my step brother (he is about 10 years older than me and retired) asking him what brought on all the changes to my mom's logins and passwords? I said she's starting to have memory problems, especially hard on her this past week, so I was just curious what prompted the need for the changes. I explained I had taken down all her info so I can help her with this kind of things, so I need to be in the loop if it gets changed. I didn't mention that he changed all this and she's suddenly all confused! (she even said this to me, several times past few days). When she gets too many things to have to think about at once, she then gets very flustered and then can't remember anything. I have learned that over the past year or so.

That is why, when I last went to visit her, I took a notebook. Sat down with her and wrote down just about every little thing I could think to ask her. (some of it I already knew, as she had put me on her bank and investing account). Income, bills, insurances, doctors, medications, home security info, log ins and passwords for everything.Names and ph#'s of who she would want me to contact if something happened to her. I asked her permission to do all this first. We discussed that I would be the one to help her with all this and that, most of it, I can still help with, even though I don't live down the road any longer. I also did everything I could think of to make her computer use easier. (if I recall, we actually went and bought her a new computer those days I spent with her). She didn't have to enter a password to open her computer. I set her up with Firefox being her link to the internet. In Firefox I set up all her favorites that she likes to access regularly. Her bank, her investment account, AOL email, and Facebook. I set them up so she doesn't have to enter her login and password each time. Even before her memory issues started she has always been awful about her logins and passwords. This has driven me nuts for years! She writes them all down on little slips of paper, but half of them not knowing which account they are for. Then she gets confused. So, I thought I had it set up pretty easy for her. I also put a program on her computer where I could log into it remotely if she ever was having computer issues. We've only had to use it once, but it worked great. She had accidentally changed some setting on her computer and I was able to log on and fix it.

I call her regularly, DD calls her regularly. We let each other know if it seemed like she was more confused at times. She would forget recent conversations but overall still taking care of herself, her home (spotless), mows her little yard, drives to stores, to visit her bf. She still does her crossword puzzles and likes to do solitaire on her computer. It just seems like the things like spam phone calls or emails, or something extra to deal with, is when she plain gets confused. As it got a little worse the past couple of months, is when her BF said he'd go with her to her dr. appt. to make sure the dr. got all the info. I've kept up with him about it and any concerns he's having, since he's the one who sees her all the time.

So, I think this past week, she totally got overloaded with stuff. First DS asked her for the loan (it also appears she loaned my uncle, her bother, a little money just before that). She wrote a check to uncle, gave DS her credit card#. Almost similar amounts. At the same time, step brother had just changed ALL her log ins and passwords, as well as changed her computer so that every time she opened her computer she had to now put in another password. I had realized last year, that if she gets too many things to think about at once, she gets worse. That is why I tried to take away any extra all those spam emails she was getting....or blocking whatever spam phone calls I could. She rarely gets spam emails in her regular email inbox anymore.

Then she sees that credit card charge last Friday, in the middle of being overloaded, she doesn't remember, and then her trying to deal with that, she got totally confused and can't remember anything the past several days. I could so hear the relief in her voice yesterday when I took care of that credit card deal and figured it out. And yesterday morning, she was much better. She logged right into her computer with no issues and remembered how to do it. She was calmer and rested.

So, I get this email back from my step brother. While we are all completely get along, we are not close. When my mom married his dad I was 11 and he and his older brother were already grown up and in college. From what I gather, he seems to call my mom every few months. Visits with her maybe a few times a year. He lives about an 75 minutes from her. Of all my step siblings I am probably closest to him, but that's minimal. When his dad (my adopted step dad) was in the hospital, dying, (10 years ago now). He was the only one of my step siblings to be at the hospital every day with my mom. And me. I took off work and was there everyday/all day, too. One lived out of state. The other 2 didn't/couldn't take time off work. So he and I got to chat and get to know each other better during that week.

here's an excerpt from the email he sent me
Your concerns about your mother are real and immediate. She needs you to take a break from everything and come out here for a few weeks, a month, or whatever time you can take, and help her get situated into a lifestyle that will guarantee her the comfort she deserves.

I know all about her finances, her thing with the credit card., her account ID's and passwords (correcting them when she gets locked out due to memory issues), and so forth.

I owe your mom so much, her dealing with my Dad (to him, you and I are blood sibs) through his last couple of years. 

There was a little more (about her loaning her grandson the money), but this is the gist of it. Honestly, I was a little miffed at first reading it. Then I thought maybe I am just being to sensitive. I sent it to DD to get her thoughts. Right off the gate, she was more upset with what he wrote than I was. He said he's willing to help whatever he can, call him but not last night...he was busy taking care of his wife last night.

I started a reply, but I feel like I am just trying to defend myself. I haven't sent anything back to him yet. Here are my thoughts (and some from DD)

1) I have been completely involved with keeping in constant contact with her to monitor how she is doing. In my last visit I took down ALL her information, so I know what is going on and would know how to take care of everything for her.

2) I have been in contact with her BF, who went to this last dr. appt with her and we discussed her health and medications.

3) I've also spent enough time with her to know that when she has to deal with a lot of new information or changes, is when she gets worse. Like she did this past week. Otherwise, she does ok.

He swoops in - makes all these changes on her, doesn't realize how hard that is on her, then tells me "oh she's need to do something".  Like my DD said, she wasn't like this, until this past week and everything she had to deal with. As I mentioned above, it's not like she's not been able to take care of herself! If he knew all about "her thing with the credit card" then why didn't he do something to resolve it?! As soon as I found out about it, I took over taking care of it from her. Problem was resolved fairly quickly and as soon as it was she got over her confusion.

I'm just not sure what to say back to him. Yes, for sure there are some things that will need to be addressed as time goes on and her needs change. But, like one of my commenters mentioned yesterday, there can't be 2 people handling the same stuff. It's just causes confusion and she certainly doesn't need that.  And she doesn't need someone trying to help and making things actually harder for her.

My dd's opinion: ...I'm not retired. I still work full time plus a p/t job. This past year I have been trying to finish getting a house being built, both of DH's parents dying, a wedding, not to mention extra (though thankfully only temporary) work responsibilities. Unless she is in the hospital or something, I just can't take a month off.

More to follow. I just got off the phone with my mom (who is doing so much better). I've got an update to write about that.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


First thing this morning (because it was too early to call my mom in her time zone) was I called her bank. I know I am on her name is right on the account, too when you log in, but not sure if I'm on her savings. That's the one showing the weird negative balance of $888,888 dollars. She tells me she can't talk to me, can I put my mom on phone to authorize. I said no, she's not with me. Then I just explained I was trying to find out what this strange negative savings balance is. She was able to tell me it's their code entry for a fraud transaction. It's dated from June, so not sure why it's hasn't cleared up. Her statements don't show it.  I explained my mom is having memory issues so I'm just trying to resolve this and an issue with her bank credit card. That it's just too much for my mom to try to call in and figure out. She suggests I do a 3 way call with them and my mom, so my mom can verify herself and then authorize me. That was such a great idea. I thanked her very much.

Then I waited until around 8:30 mom's time, hoping she was up already. She was. I explained to her that I'd like to call her bank and see if this credit card charge that got disputed as fraud can be put back on her card as a legitimate charge. I told her now, it is showing up on her account as credited back to her, so the company is not getting their money they thought they were. She said let me look online at my bank account. I said, ok, are you able to get back on your computer this morning? you couldn't last night. She did not remember that at all. Well, the rest must have done her some good, as now she knew how to get on her computer. Apparently my step brother changed that too!! (again WHAT IN THE HELL?!). Now, she has to enter a password to open her computer, but this morning she remembered that. (she says she doesn't like it) Last night she couldn't. So, she got on and knew exactly how to log in her bank, so that was good. Then she notices the "past due". I said ya, we talked about that credit card last night. I paid it online for you out of your checking, so it's all good now. It should show up as paid tomorrow.

I called the credit card company. Then got my mom on the call. She verified herself and said yes, they most definitely could talk to me and they told my mom she could get off the call if she wanted to. Then I explained the situation. She put me on hold, came back and said she's transferring me to the fraud dept, since it already got tagged as fraud. On hold forever and finally someone comes on....she won't talk to me...needs my mom to authorize again (omg), so I get my mom back on and we go through it again.

Thankfully, they were able to remove the hold/fraud/disputed tag on it, and now the charge will go through ok. Later on I'll call the back on the savings account and have to get her to authorize me on that and get that cleared up. But, the credit card was the priority today.

Memory gone

oooh boy. The memory stuff with my mom is getting worse all of a sudden. And to do with money, for the most part.

I mentioned last week she called because she was getting someone trying to call her and get $299 out of her for computer stuff. I was able to get into her Comcast log in. That didn't get changed by my step brother, but probably only because she doesn't ever use it. Her bill is auto paid. She doesn't use comcast email and has no idea she can log in for phone settings, etc. So, that's when I blocked that number from calling her back.

Friday, I'm looking at her call log and a ton of calls to her bank. I'm wondering what is going on, but I was out most of the day Friday.

Then DD told me that my mom called her last week(but called her husbands cell #) and wanted her social security #. Something to do with her will, but DD wasn't quite sure and with these memory issues was a little nervous even giving it to her. I said I'd ask her about it.

Then I call her yesterday to say hello and find out she had a charge on her bank credit card she did not know what it was for and spent a bunch of time last Friday on the phone with her bank about it. She said she was looking online but couldn't tell if it got fixed or not. I said, well, I have your log in - remember, you gave me all that before, but it must have gotten changed, it won't work. She says "oh yeah, your step brother changed that too (WHAT IN THE HELL?!). So, I got the new login and password out of her and logged in. I see this charge for $1550 to a company in the town her BF lives in and it also has a ph# given. Then she mentions something about my son...maybe it has something to do with him....she loaned him some money. I'm like did you give him your credit card#?? No, I don't think so.

As I'm looking at her online bank summary page, her savings account says in RED negative $888,896.93. WHAT IN THE HELL?! I open the account and the last transaction is 6/20 "on hold" for that amount. Other than that she is supposed to have like $96 in it. I ask her to look at that (she is online at same time as me). She has no clue.

So, I told her to call her bank and ask about it. I will call this number that put the charge on her credit card and find out what it is. I call......sure's something for my son. The guy said he bought a used truck and that he said he was getting the down payment from a relative and gave him the credit card# to charge. I said ok, that helps me to know what this is. I explained my mom is having memory issues and doesn't recall doing this and I'm not quite sure if she had this charged stopped or not, but I will get back to him.

I call her back. She is totally confused. She thinks she gave my son $2000, but thought she gave him a check. She said she has written down note to herself "loan to DS, $2000".  I said well, he says you gave him your cc# so he could do the down payment and it's $1550, last Wednesday. I cannot get out of her if she disputed the charge or not. She says "well, I should probably cancel that card" I said well, your email from BofA yesterday says they are sending you a new card out, so it looks like you already did? Oh, I guess so, she says.

then she tells me she didn't call the bank about her savings, she was waiting to hear what I found out about the charge (2 different issues). I said ok, well, since we aren't sure if you disputed this or not, you need to call the bank and find out. Tell them it's a legit charge. So, I wait an hour and call her back. She says the bank is supposed to call her back. I wait another hour and try to call her but she doesn't answer. Later in the evening she calls me back. I asked if the bank called her back? By then she couldn't even remember why she was supposed to talk to the bank. I'm trying to explain it to her again and so she's going to get online with her bank, only I don't know what she did. Suddenly her computer is on some weird screen that I can't figure out what she is telling me. It was like her computer wanted her to log in, which she doesn't have set up like that. I got her to shut off the computer and restart but it came back on the same screen.

So, I'm logged into her bank online taking a closer look at all of it. She has checking, savings, and 2 visa's on it.  I notice the 2nd visa has a small $200ish balance and says "Past Due!". I look at that closer. She used the card 3 times last May, hasn't used it since, and never paid the bill! She's like what? I didn't even know I had 2 cards. So, she looking in her wallet and tells me she doesn't even know where her other credit card is either. What in the world is going on? She can't find this 2nd card in her wallet either. I said, well, I'm just going to pay this right now, online, and it will pull the money from your checking to pay it off.

I still don't know why my step brother changed literally all most all her log ins and passwords. It has  her so confused. I emailed him, basically asking him why. I said I have all her info written down in a notebook, for me, in case something happened, like she ended up in hospital, so I could take care of everything. I have her accounts, logins, bills list, insurance co info, dr info, medicine list, etc. If stuff is getting changed, I really need to be in the loop.

This morning first thing, I log into her account again and sure enough, she did dispute that charge. I call the bank and tell them I am on her checking as a signer, but not sure about savings. She says she can't talk to me, unless mom ok's it, but I did explain about the -888,888 dollars in savings balance and she was able to tell me that was their code for a fraud notation. So this was back from June. Not sure why it hasn't cleared off. But, she does suggest a great idea. That I do a 3 way call with them and my mom, so I can get all these issues resolved. So, now I'm going to call my mom and attempt this....I am hoping that the charge that is in "dispute status" can just be un-disputed so it still goes through. That's what I need to find out. Wish me LUCK!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Weekend update

Whew - where did the weekend go? All of a sudden it's Monday, already.

I took Friday off and we got our mortgage loan docs signed and all done. Now I feel like I can get back to "normal" and don't feel like someone is in my personal finances anymore, LOL. I hate dealing with banks and lenders, though I must say this wasn't bad at all, as far as supplying documents. The only little "glitch" was when they thought I wasn't working at my company anymore and that was cleared up quickly.

DH donated our unused picnic table to that group he was helping with the work party the other day. It came with our previous house and we brought it with us here, but really don't need it. It's just been sitting out in the grassy area on the side of our house. The guy and his wife came and picked it up, so one more thing gone we don't need. A few weeks ago we had given away this big wood storage box free on Facebook marketplace. The girl messaged me back that her boyfriend had remembered seeing a big wood spool, did we want to get rid of it. Yes, we do. It's sitting in the burn pile, so we'll get it out. They also came and picked it up. She wants to make it into a little table.

Saturday we decided to take DH pick up to the city and load up. First we went to Home Depot to buy 2 metal shelving units, for the garage, DH had liked. They had black ones and red/black ones. We wanted black. Supposedly they have 60 black in stock, but none in the display area. Finally, a half hour later they bring them out.

We ended up buying a new washer and dryer for the house from Lowes. I opted for the 12 mos no interest. I was getting myself stressed with all the researching over what to get and decided to just get it done and over with. We bought the same ones my DD bought almost 3 years ago. Maytag Bravos. It's top load, but doesn't have the agitator. They were regularly $800 each for $568 each. That was a hassle to get them! We picked them out quickly, the girl put the order in the system quickly and then we are to go up to a normal checkout register and give ph# and pay. Then they wil bringl them out to the front area, where you are supposed to wait with your vehicle.

45 minutes later......we were parked kind of far out so dh was going to go bring it over, while I waited out front,only there was already a truck there pretty much taking up all the room. And where they have you park is halfway blocking all the other cars just trying to get by. Then another pickup pulls up, so DH just waited out where he was for a text from me. Waited waited. Finally, a guy brings out a dishwasher for the 2nd guy who pulled up. They get it up in back of his truck and he realizes it's not the one he bought. So, back in the store they go. Me and the other guy wait and wait. Finally he goes inside to find someone. Apparently ended up with some guy from the tool dept. DH calls me to see if there is parking yet, no, but right straight across from me is 4 empty spots for "customer pick up". That would be a much better place to park, not blocking traffic. The second guy was totally in the pass through lane. So, DH comes and parks there. Literally straight across from the door. By now I have been standing there 30 minutes. My hips start aching if I have to stand in one place for a long time. Finally, at 40 minutes, I go back inside and ask the checker how much longer. She starts to call back and two come up with the first guys appliance, so they say they will find out, as soon as they get him loaded. By then it's been 45 minutes. I go back inside to find a manager. Just to tell him/her they really need to do a better job of this/get more help (as 2 guys in vests are just standing around doing nothing). Finally, they bring the washer out and I point that we are parked right across in that first pick up spot. She starts to tell me next time park here in front of the doors. I said until a few minutes ago there was no room to park there, let alone it's blocking traffic! She starts to argue with me and I said "I've been standing here waiting for 45 minutes! I'm not going to argue with you where to park!

Then we went over to the mattress store for a mattress set for the log bear bed. Finally. I have been waiting to use that bed for 2 1/2 years LOL. I walked in. Told the guy I just need a queen set for a guest bed and don't want to spend more than $500 and it needs to be in stock. He took me over to several sets, starting at like $199 to $499. The $199 and $399 were crap, but the $499 ones were ok. I tried a couple different "firmnesses", picked one. Another guy helped DH load it, while I paid (cash). We couldn't fit anything else in the back of the truck and we'd spent enough, so we (slowly) headed home.

It took DH like 2 hours to just hook up the dryer. He needs a different venting system. How the builders put the vent hole in the wall is stupid. So, now the dryer (and washer) are sticking out twice as far from the wall as they should be and look ridiculous. Then when he's going to plug the dryer in he's freaking out because it didn't come with the plug in. I'm standing there looking down at this 4 prong plug in in the wall and I'm like, isn't that what we just bought with the washer and dryer?? It was 4 pronged..."oh ya, I thought that was for the washer".

Of course the washing machine is different than our old one out in the shop. Of course, that is hard for him. Can't do change very well. He did do about 4 loads yesterday and he survived it. I kind of like how he doesn't get to pick the water level, haha. It senses the load size and fills accordingly. I also had to read him the instructions explaining it doesn't fill up over the load, just a bit below it. It doesn't help that you can see through the top of the lid, otherwise he wouldn't even know it. I did a load after he was done. I think it took about 45 minutes to wash. It's quite the noisy machine during some parts. We kind of got used to it by the last load yesterday.

Yesterday DH finished the mirrors for our master bathroom. Originally, I had thought he said he was going to use leftover trim from the house, but he used the rough live edge boards from our trees. Oh well, either is fine. His side looks the same, LOL.
He's still working on the smaller mirror for the upstairs bath. The stain should be dry by today. We had to buy a smaller mirror piece than what I originally bought. It was just too big to fit in the weird angled ceiling spot in that bathroom. I'll post a picture of that one once he gets it up.

After dinner we set up one of the new metal shelving units in the garage. They are nice and sturdy. Very happy with the purchase. The other one is going on the back wall of the garage, but there isn't room to put it there yet. Still have lots of leftover lumber and beams stacked up back there (ugh). DH thinks he might get more of the shelves for the shop.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

About this and that

DH had finally gotten the quote yesterday morning from the landscaping guy on the lawn curbing and sprinkler system. He thought the sprinkler system seemed a bit high, especially since all the main lines are already put in (by DH). So, he decided to try and call another company and left a message for the guy. All's DH knew was the company name and a guy named Dave would call back. He called back. The guy says are you the same guy I knew growing up? Turns out it was and they had been friends in jr. high and high school years.

He came out yesterday around 3pm to look at what we needed. Well, DH can talk a person's ear off, so the guy ended up being here like 3 hours. Poor guy, LOL. But he seemed super nice. They both had a lot of memories hanging out together. It was good for DH to have a nice afternoon like that. Though dh is guessing this guy is going to be even higher than the first guy.....(ugh)

Later in the evening he ran over to help with a "work party" going on with some local guys. I don't think he actually did too much, but got to meet a few new people he hasn't met yet. He had received a text yesterday morning about the work party going on all day and if he was bored, come on over. DH had replied back he was bored, but he had to be bored getting all the stuff done around here first, LOL. He texted the guy back last evening again, saying he could come over and help, if they were still working on it.

I looked at my mom's landline call history again this morning. That number I blocked shows they tried to call again 6 times yesterday afternoon! It's looking like the blocking worked. They are showing as missed calls and the number is still showing as blocked status. But, if it's not that number or scammer, it will be another one trying :(.

Dh said he sat in one of the new zero gravity lounge chairs, on the back patio, the day before and ended up taking a nap. Said it was the most comfortable chair. I asked him if it was too short for him and he said nope, just right (he's 6'). I like how they can be either kind of like a chair or recline back to a lounger.

Our "google home wi-fi" system has been working well (knock on wood!). The phone app shows a lot of info, but is easy to use/understand and useful. It does a download test every couple of days. Our internet speed is supposed to be around 15mbps, which of course you don't usually get that, LOL. We seem to consistently get 13, so that's good. It also shows all the devices hooked up and what amount they are using at the time, which is kind of interesting. Typically, if we are streaming something using the Firestick or another device, it's using up about 3 mpbs of the download speed available. Just being on our phones, tablets or computers, doesn't use much. I've checked it when I'm streaming something through the tv and DH is watching video on his computer. Those two together can use up quite a bit of our available bandwith and sometimes the streaming will buffer just a bit. The system also has the capability to prioritize wi-fi traffic to a device. So, if I know Dh is watching something and I'm watching something, I'll set it to prioritize his device for an hour (or you can choose different amounts of time). Based on this, I really don't think we have a need for faster (ie more money) wi-fi. We haven't been having any issues getting wi-fi out in the shop, so that's a huge plus. So, far this month our phone data hasn't been used much (now that this is all working well), so no chance of going over our data limit, like we had issue with the first 2 months of living here and trying to get it all sorted out. If you are trying to get wi-fi throughout your home or near it, I would definitely recommend this device. It did take some help from the phone company to get the settings right, because it works in tandem with their router, but now it's been good. Plus the phone guy had said he and their other tech both use this google system in their homes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

More Mom

My mom calls me this morning. Says this guy she can't understand keeps calling her. Something about her computer and maintenance. She wasn't sure what to do. oh sigh........ she called me from her cell, and her landline rang again and it was him. Whatever he was saying (I couldn't hear him) she just kept trying to tell him no and that she couldn't understand him. Finally, she got back on to me (but was still on the phone with him) and I said just hang up!! You don't need to talk to him. A minute later her phone rang again. I said do not answer it!  He's just trying to scam you. She has a Norton antivirus on her computer that she pays for, and I think she at first, when talking to him, thought maybe it had something to do with that and was telling him she paid $99 for that already. Whatever he was doing, he was trying to get $299 out of her or something. She said she did not give him any credit card or bank info at all.

Then I tried to ask her if she has caller ID on her phone. She doesn't know. I'm like, you know how there is a display on your cell phone that tells you the name and number of who is calling? do you have that on your landline/home phone? she still doesn't know. I said well, if you do and don't recognize a number/name calling you just do not answer it. If it's someone legitimate, then they can leave you a message and you can return the call.

One of these days she is going to get scammed out of money, I just know it. At least she called me about/during it, so I could help her. But, it's going to probably be kind of like those AOL fake emails. I kept telling her and telling her do not reply to them, and yet every time she would.

She has mentioned a few times recently that she's going to start thinking about moving into a retirement place. Somewhere that as she gets worse, also has assisted living help, when she gets to that point. It's sounding like a good idea to me. She likes to be around people and do stuff, so she'd probably like living someplace like that.

Then as I was messaging DD about it, I remembered I have her Comcast log in info. I'll bet I can sign in and see her phone records and see this number that called her this morning. Sure enough. It appears they called and left a voicemail with a number to call. So, she calls.....(WHY?!!!), so of course they think they have her hook, line and sinker. It shows she called them for about 2 minutes and then called again and was on phone with them for 3 minutes. Then they called back from a different number. Then again (that was when I was on the phone with her and told her not to answer it). I was able to put a block on those 2 numbers, which may help a bit, but they just call from different numbers. At least it doesn't show they have tried to call back since I talked to her. I looked up the first number they called her from. Others have reported it as scam...pretending to be from Microsoft and wanting $299.

A couple mysteries solved

I have an allergy to caffeine. It makes my heart beat really hard. It also doesn't affect me like it supposedly does for everyone else - ie - drinking it to stay awake. I'm still as tired, I just can't sleep because my heart is pounding. So, I rarely drink anything with caffeine in it. I can handle a small amount with no effects. Like a small glass of soda or half a cup of coffee. Last evening, after dinner I felt like I had just had a bunch of caffeine. What in the heck?! I'm sitting there, thinking to myself what could be causing this? I had a glass of Ruby Red Squirt later in the afternoon........wait......does that have caffeine in it?? I looked it up. Sure enough it does. Regular Squirt does not, so I did not think to check that this version had caffeine or not. It took hours for me to feel back to normal. I guess I won't be drinking that anymore, or at least only have a small glass.

Remember how I said I've been going into my mom's AOL email and clearing out any spam emails before she sees them? That's been working well. (and most of her junk goes right into her spam folder now). I'm able to intercept those emails she kept replying to where she thinks her aol account is getting closed. Well, for the past few weeks, it's like she hasn't been reading her emails and I'm wondering what is going on. Emails from various people. Like from my uncle. A newsletter she gets from her retirement group, etc. Then last week, I suddenly couldn't log into her AOL anymore.

Monday I call her (I call her cell, since I never know if she's home or at BF's) and she doesn't answer and I can't leave a message because it says her voicemail is full. So, I send her an email, chit chat about this and that. Yesterday morning I call her again and she said "oh ya, I thought your number showed on my cell phone, did you call?" I said yes, but your voicemail was full and so I sent you an email, did you get it? Well, no...this morning my computer is doing some update or something and I can't get on it. Says its like 60% done. Hmm..Then she says but I haven't been getting any emails lately..hmmmm again.  So we talk a bit and finally her computer comes back up and I finally get her to figure out how to navigate to AOL. She says my stepbrother visited her a week or so ago and changed her password (ok! that explains why I can't get in now). I'm like why did he do that (she's confused enough, without having a new password!). She doesn't know. She tells me again, "but I haven't had any emails." I said, well I just sent you one yesterday, so I know you have one to read. She puts the new password he gave her. it doesn't work. I try it from my computer, it doesn't work. So, then from my screen I try resetting her password. It was either text her home# (that wouldn't work), call her home # with the security code, or email my stepbrother (he had put in his email as the contact). Since she was on her cell phone, I had it call her landline and she got the code. I then input the new password my step brother told her it was now and that worked. She's like "oh, look at all those emails!".

Ahhhh.  I'm guessing that for some reason her original password got messed up or for whatever reason she wasn't able to log in and read her emails the past few weeks, so when he was visiting her last week, she probably mentioned something about it, so he changed it so she could...only for some reason, she still couldn't, but she didn't realize it. She just thought she didn't have any emails. She would open AOL and see that main page, but she wasn't logged in. So, now I have her new password and can still do my best to get rid of those pesky spam emails that confuse her. I was scared to ask if he/she changed her banking password. Next time I go visit we'll do another full update for my notebook of her info.

While I'm trying to get her to figure out/log into her email she kept thinking it was all working, then she's off seeing if she can get into Facebook still (she could) and trying to ask me questions about FB (which she never understands) and I'm like you need to go back to AOL. We still haven't got you logged into that yet! LOL. Then she's like ya, I see AOL, my bank, I see FB, it's all good. I'm like no, you are just seeing that they are saved as a favorite in Firefox. We still need to log into AOL so you can see that you do have email.

In other news, I ordered this cute little sign for the laundry room. Seemed fitting since we live on a river bank. I had come across it on Amazon months and months ago, but had just saved it to my favorites list. When I went to buy it a month or two ago it wasn't available. Then it showed up again, so I made sure to snag it. It was only $13, so I wasn't out too much for it.

It's kind of funny reading some of the reviews left about it. "It's smaller than I thought it would be" (can you read the description? the measurements are right there, LOL). "It's kind of flimsy". (well,'s canvas, LOL. it's just like any other canvas art I have). Too funny.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Yards and appliances

Trying to get a yard/lawn in is posing as difficult as getting a house built was. While DH is doing what he can himself, some of it just plain has to be done by others with the right equipment. When our property was initially cleared off to be ready for building site, we ended up with about 75 yards of topsoil, But it has lots of rocks in it and needs to be screened. Not something we can do by hand. Then we got that free topsoil, but it also needs to be screened and could use a bit of "help". We were told of another guy (neighbor of where we got the topsoil) who has a bunch of old cow manure he wants to get rid of, so we'd take that. The plan is to mix it in with the topsoils. The plan was the guy with the equipment was supposed to come back 2 weeks ago and bring the manure and his screen. He also said he had a screen to do it. Now he's saying he can't come for a few more weeks and something about renting a screen from some other company. Well geez.....if we had known all that DH would have made some different just buying ready topsoil and having it delivered!

And DH was going to use/rent this guys backhoe for a day or two. He was supposed to get it Saturday. That didn't happen. Now he has no idea when the guy is going to have it available. This part is something DH needs to get done before the next step can be done.

Two weeks ago he had a guy come out to give an estimate on installing concrete curbing around where the lawn is going to go. Our neighbor happened to come over when he was here looking, and he said he's been wanting that done he asked for a quote, too. No word from the guy to either of us. For our yard, it's something that has to be prepped, done before anything else would be done. Typical contractor from this area.

Summer is almost over and Fall is short here, so now we're probably not going to have time to get this in before it gets too cold to do. It's making for a very cranky DH. And he's too nice. He won't come right out and say to the guy, "hey, I really need a set date on getting this done by you, otherwise I'm going to have to find another plan, since it takes so long to find contractors around here". He'll just let him keep putting him off. Ah well, it's not like it has to be done. Would have just been really nice to get it in this year.

And DH, of course, just like I predicted, I dragging his heels at selling that little dump trailer. He keeps using the excuse he'll need it for this or that, but then doesn't use it. Example: the rocks delivered. He could have used it (though it obviously would have taken longer) to get that stuff over here. But, the guy who has the rock said he wanted to load and deliver it in his dump truck. So, of course we had to pay for that part, too. Supposedly, this guy who we are waiting on the bid for the concrete curbing is interested in trading his work for it. We'll see.......

And still nothing from that guy that has our hard drive. DH called the computer repair guy who had originally given me his number. Just on the off chance he knew anything at all about this guy or how to get a hold of him a different way. Or just to say, I wouldn't refer this guy to anyone else. He said that he didn't really know anything about him (he had told me that) but that when he came in and left his card for hard drive repair referrals, he told this guy that he trained all the people who work at another hard drive repair company, in his same small town. DH called them, to see if maybe they had a way to get a hold of him. They really seemed to know nothing about him either, so they said. Kind of surprising since it's a pretty small town he's in, of less than 5,000 people. I think they are the only 2 business's of that type in that town. Anyhow, that was a long shot anyway. DH left him one more voicemail. Not very nice this time. I think Dh is just going to try to go down to his house address (that's where I mailed it to and the address on his business website) and see if someone will answer and try to get it back. DH wanted me to text him (because we can see he's reading my texts) and tell him he's coming down there tomorrow to pick it up, but I said I wouldn't even let him know. Then he'll know you are coming and not answer the door.

My 2 new zero gravity lounge chairs arrived yesterday. I really like them and find them very comfortable. Though I think Lucy (Dime at a Time blog) is right, they aren't quite long enough for tall guys, though my DH is 6', not 6'5", like hers. Well, for the price they are good. They cost the same ($60 for pair) as the 2 regular lawn chairs I bought for front patio. Now I don't feel like I got a good deal on those, LOL.

I'm going to see if Lowe's has washer and dryer's on sale over Labor Day. I would think they would probably have a sale going on then. I don't want to spend more than $1000 for the set and if I can get a deal with their 6 mos no interest, I'll just get it and put on my Lowe's card. We don't need those fancy HE front loading washers and dryers that cost that much apiece. But, I was looking through some of their models, of just the "old style" washing machines, like we have. It's so confusing, because half of the reviews will say they love it. The other half hate it. Currently, one of their top load washing machines is reg like $750 for $499...geez, for $750 I don't think it could be that bad of a machine. But, I remember coming across the same thing when I was researching our kitchen appliances. Some said the dishwasher was too loud, other's loved it. We have a very open floor plan and sound carries. It's fine. For about 10 seconds it has a part in the cycle that is louder than the rest, LOL. Otherwise we barely hear it.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Things that make you go hmmm.....

Speaking of Facebook......I'm still snooping on DS's (who we still don't hear from) ex GF...trying to figure out if she is still pregnant or what. But, other than a post back when she was apparently 2 months along, she has not mentioned it again. She never posts pics of herself (other than her profile), just of her youngest daughter. 99% of her posts (in the past month) are in an attempt to bash her ex (my son) LOL. She's 39 years old and about the equivalent mentality of a white trash teenager, it seems. Her latest post is a meme of a guy giving the finger "to everyone who believes my ex".  She and her little girl went to a wedding where she posted some pics, tagged some people. I went to one of the other peoples page, who had literally posted hundreds of pics from this wedding. I was trying to see if she was in any of the pics of all the guests/reception - to see if there was a pregnant lady (kind of hard to tell because most of them were overweight and looked like they could be 7 to 7 1/2 mos pregnant!). I couldn't find any pics of her that I could tell was her. BUT, what a total 110% redneck wedding, LOL.

oh my! I've never seen anything quite like it. Right down to the short little video clip of the bride holding a bottle of booze and smoking a joint..........

God, makes me so glad my DD has class, LOL. Like they say "you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with".

Then last night she made a post to "defend" herself in her breakup. It was mostly a string of f-words and other cuss words. The gist of it sounding like he thinks he's too good for her, along with his friends. (gee, I wonder why....) Finally, down in one of the comments to someone she said she had lost the baby she was pregnant with. Another blessing in disguise. She sounds like she has had a very messy life so far. And I'm sure DS is just as much to blame in whatever caused their split. I'm just relieved (again) that there isn't going to be a child brought into their mess of a life. Now that I don't have to wonder if there was going to be a grandchild and I can put her out of my radar. (thank God)

So, then I just get an email from my bank loan officer. They tried to call and verify my employment one last time, before my loan closes to the new mortgage loan. They were told I no longer work at my company! Ok..... when someone calls for verification they call the company who is our PEO/Payroll processor. Which we just changed to a new company this past month. So, I sent an email back saying yes, I still work for my company. We just changed PEO's and I'm not sure who they are supposed to get verification from with this new company, but please just call or email my boss......she'll verify, LOL.  Why couldn't the old company just say "WE no longer are the PEO for her company, you will have to call them to verify", rather than telling them I no longer work there? Just dumb. Another good reason we left that company, eh?

It's my half work day Friday. We're going to go into the city this afternoon. DH needs a few things from Lowes and then we'll pick up our grocery order from Walmart. It sounds like tomorrow afternoon he will be having a guy drop off his backhoe, for DH to use for a few days. The rest of the stuff he has to do, he just cannot do by hand and a wheelbarrow.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Get out the tin foil

Boy, Facebook sure must be infiltrating our lives in just about every possible sense.. I remember a year or so ago hearing how people thought FB was listening to conversations because ads would show up for things talked about. It was denied. But, now I'm hearing they are saying it's true. I've pretty much suspected all along it was true. There is no way DH and I could talk about rattlesnakes and then an ad for a rattle snake rattler for sale at Walmart shows up in my FB feed! I mean, who even would have know that they sell those?! Another example. (these are examples where our phones are in our pockets). DH was talking with our roofer about different roof mfg's. He goes to his FB that evening and there are links to articles about roofing mfg's being sued. Just last weekend we were outside doing yard work. DH asked me to go get him the channel locks out of the tool box. A couple hours later I'm looking at FB and an ad for channel locks is in my feed. Another time we were outside talking to our neighbors visiting son. Talking about a pocket hole tool. Apparently FB didn't quite hear it right.....the ad that showed up later was for a pocket door, LOL.

The latest thing I have noticed is the new people that FB is showing me as "people I may know". Some of these people there is NO way FB would know I have any sort of connection to, unless they are mining my computer for data. Several are work contacts - people I have had contact with over the years via work emails or they are in my work outlook. Most of them are very old contacts....not even contacts anymore. They don't work at that company (different companies) anymore or we haven't done business with that company in years. I haven't emailed these people in YEARS, let alone have any connection to them whatsoever via FB or common friends.  They aren't even people I ever did or do contact on a regular basis.

I was in my work Outlook email contacts the other day and noticed a really really old contact. I don't recall if I clicked on it in outlook or not, I don't think I did. I just remember thinking to myself why do I still have him in my contacts list, but I didn't delete. He was a handyman guy my company used years and years ago and he would email me his bill. He showed up the other day as someone I might know on Facebook.

I haven't been using the Alexa feature on my new Firestick.....but I'm sure it's still able to listen via that little microphone. I'm sure it's still on and listening. In fact, I did a google search on it and found where I could listen to my Alexa commands that got recorded, under my Amazon account. I'm sure it's listening to all conversations, even if I haven't pressed the button for it to listen to my command. I found some instructions on how to toggle off the Alexa voice recordings through my Amazon account. Am I convinced that keeps them from listening? Not really, but I did it anyway. And supposedly you can turn off the microphone setting on your phone under the Facebook app. I did that, too, but DH's was never on to begin with and he still has the same "weird coincidences".

I really don't have much of a problem with ads being connected to things I search or type about on my computer or phone. But, I do have a problem that these devices are listening and recording our everyday conversations so that they can connect ads to us......let alone whatever else they are doing with the conversations...........

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Have a seat

I really like our 2 new patio chairs to replace the broken ones out on the front patio. They even got used yesterday - one of DH's friends stopped by for a visit and they sat out there on them. I do still want to find a small little side table to go in between them. But, I don't want to spend too much. I'm tempted to just go with something like this - super cheap at about $12.50.
But, I'd prefer something with a little more style, maybe wrought iron and glass top. But, those are more expensive, of course. I'm still thinking on it.  We decided not to try and fix the webbing on the old chairs. Pretty much the only webbing I could find was the "old style" stuff - you know, like green and white, or blue, and even then it was almost as much to fix as just to replace chairs.

My original plan for the back patio/river view furniture was to include two chaise lounges with cushions. But, it's not happening this summer. They are not cheap for any I can find, even on sale. I follow a page on Facebook called The Krazy Coupon Lady. A deal for 2 zero gravity lounge chairs came up the other day. The material is kind of similar to the chairs I just bought for the front. I'm kind of liking the minimalist look of them, compared to something with thick cushions. They are supposed to be super comfortable to lounge in. Plus they have a cup holder, cell phone and book holder on the sides. 2 chairs for $60, with coupon code, free shipping. I decided to go with these. I cannot beat the price and will have some decent looking seating on the back patio, outside our bedroom french doors.

The lounge chairs should be here pretty quick, so we'll get some summer time left to get some use out of them. Plus, they will fold up nice, for winter storage. Next summer I'll work on getting a table with 4 chairs. Maybe I'll just end up getting something similar to this style of seating, which might save some money.

I still have a list of things I need for inside the house. A queen size mattress set for the bear log bed. Bedding for it. Nightstands for this bed. An area rug for the living room. A chair, loveseat and small coffee table for the upstairs loft sitting area. Washer and dryer. Fake ficus tree. Farmhouse hutch (been watching Craigslist for that).

I thought I had posted about my new dining table chairs. I guess I did not. Here they are
I ordered them from Ashley Furniture. They were on sale for about $52 each. About the cheapest I could find and also be something I liked. My other choice was about $75 per chair. the lighting is kind of dark, but the seats are a tan fabric. These are the greatest chairs, but they'll do. The cushions are kind of "stiff" I guess is how to describe them.

Above is a picture of the living room I took the other day. We need something on the wall above the tv. Originally, I was going to put my farmhouse clock there, but it looked to small.  DH keeps saying it needs a big elk mount, LOL. Have to say I agree, though he doesn't hunt, so need to figure something else out, I guess. Behind the loveseat, under the open staircase is where I want to put a ficus tree. We were at least smart and planned ahead for the tv wiring to be up in the wall behind the tv so we don't have to see wires. If we ever do get satellite again, supposedly we would just put the box in our bedroom (the other side of the fireplace) and the remote would work through the wall. At least that's what the electricians told me would work, so I didn't have to have a cable box sitting on the mantel.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tuesday this and that

Whew! First payroll with new company done and in the books. That's a relief. I did end up having to work about an hour longer yesterday, to finish it up and have our last phone meeting of the day with our trainer, at 5pm.

I think DD got her gift card deal figured out. I had told her to contact the store the gift card is through, even though her friend already tried that. They told her if she had the receipt from the grocery store she purchased it, they could help. She had thrown it out, but I told her to contact the store and see if they could reprint a copy and they could. (she had used her phone number during the purchase for her loyalty card). She emailed the copy to someone with customer service with the store and they emailed back that they would get a new gift card processed to her. Scammers suck.

Speaking of people who suck....still nothing from the hard drive guy. I texted a long message this afternoon.  Asking him to please respond on what his plans our for our hard drive, that I did not understand why he could not reply to email, phone messages and texts...texts that show he has received. I said if he is not interested in trying to fix our hard drive to please just return it, so I can try to find someone else to fix it. I said my husband had saved some pictures of his parents on there, and they have both now passed away in recent months, and we'd really like to see if we can get it fixed. He read it minutes later. No reply. Who does that?!

Our neighbor was telling dh the story of their son's wedding pics. They hired a local guy to do pics. For some reason he didn't want them taking any of their own pics themselves during their son's wedding. He never gave them their pictures! They called, texted, emailed. One day he came into where she works and she said where's the flash drive with our son's wedding pics? He said it was out in his car. He went out and drove away! Then one day he was talking to neighbor guy on the phone, where he works, and didn't realize it was him. Was trying to get some work from where he worked, so he said ya, come on in. He came into the meeting room and neighbor guy came in and said, I want our son's wedding pictures. The guy was like "this is an ambush" and neighbor said yep! Finally, he gave them some pics, but it wasn't all of them. What a piece of crap. Again, who does that to people? The guy said to neighbor that he didn't give them because you were rude to me in your messages...Neighbor said not the first 20 messages!!!

I was reading comments on a friends Facebook post of some bread she made. "I can't seem to find bread mix for my bread machine anymore". O.M.G.....I so wanted to comment "have you ever heard of flour, water, and yeast? It makes bread!" LOL.

Well, that's about all I know for now. I'll need to run into town for a few groceries today. Almost out of bread and coffee creamer. I changed bread and thought these loaves were a little bigger and thought I had enough for 2 weeks, but nope.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Manic Monday

Yesterday we took a day off and just rested. I made Blueberry muffins for breakfast. We both took a nap. I read, DH watched stuff on YouTube on his phone. Then he started watching some clips of the comedian Gabriel Iglesias, which I guess he wasn't familiar with, so I brought one of his shows up on Netflix and we watched (and laughed!) at that. Dinner was a hashbrown casserole. I tried to invite our neighbor over for dinner, as his wife is out of town, but he was actually leaving to go pick her up at the airport around dinner time, so he had to pass. I wasn't sure when she was getting back. The weather was dark, cool, rainy and stormy. A good day to not do much.  I had ordered some felt pads in various sizes that you can stick on the feet of furniture, so we got those put on the new living room furniture and the coffee and end table. After dinner we watched another of the comedy shows on Netflix.

Work has been busy with the transition to the new payroll/HR company. This afternoon will be our first payroll processed under it. Our training guy will be walking it through, with me and my boss, step by step. Plus, our IT migrated our email system over to a new system over the weekend, so that's been fun all morning (not!). A lot of the settings didn't transfer. I couldn't find our company calendar, so I was really relieved that last Friday I had written down all those on vacation for this payroll. It appears all my saved emails in a zillion folders are slowly loading in. The calendars finally loaded, though everything is the same color, so a bit hard to read and separate out meetings from vacations, etc.  I did easily figure out how to delete the old email exchange from my phone and add the new one.

DH hooked up the extra dryer, that he had somehow forgotten about. Was able to dry laundry again.....and then the door handle to it broke off! Good grief.

Poor DD - she bought a $100 gift card for their friend who took the wedding pictures. The friend went to use it and it showed a zero balance and had been hacked. The store told him there was nothing they can do about it. I told DD to call the store who the gift card it to, and also the grocery store she bought it at. And also since she did buy it with her Discover Card, to check with them to see if that is something that could be covered under her fraud protection for card charges.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Saturday activites

Yesterday the weather finally cooled down and it was below 80 for the day.  DH was doing landscaping work and I helped him most of the day. He's still shoveling rock into the wheelbarrow. This time working on the side/end of our house. He had already put some large rocks around this little firepit he had made off the edge of our patio, but decided to put the smaller rock around it. I loaded up the wheelbarrow (several times) with the larger rocks and he hauled them off to another spot and then he filled in with the smaller stuff.

We also had some polypipe and drip line pipe that we had gotten free from a friend a year or more ago. He was moving (from like 160 acre ranch) and just needed to get rid of stuff and had said take whatever you can use. DH had hoped he could use this stuff down the road for our underground sprinkler system. We ran one length of the pipe along the end of the house and then covered with rocks. Then we ran another smaller drip line along the "bed" in the rockery wall and covered with rocks.

I also had him move our little stone bench, that was on the back patio, over next to the little firepit

By later afternoon the storm came in. Thunder, lightning and heavy rain.

Evening, I made a pizza for dinner and DH watched a pay per view race on the tv.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Headaches continue

it's just been one of those weeks.

Well, this hard drive repair guy deal is so strange. He has a toll free # on his website (I have his cell #), so I tried that. It rang and rang and finally went to a recording that said if you are getting this message the best way to contact him is to text him on his cell. So, I did. He apparently has an iphone too, so I was able to see that about 30 minutes later he read the text.  This morning I sent another text saying "can I get a reply, please?". It's been read and no reply. Good grief. How about just sending it back if he doesn't want to fix it? If he had been that hard to get a hold of initially I wouldn't have even sent it to him! I got his name and number from a computer repair shop. He called me right back. I sent him the drive and he got it the next day and emailed that he received it and that's the last from him. SO FRUSTRATING. Treating someone/anyone like that is just beyond my comprehension and understanding. How do you just completely ignore calls/emails/and texts? I would feel so completely rotten and guilty if I ever did that to someone I had agreed to do a job for, let alone any reason.

The overnighted dryer fuse and heating element arrived this morning. Of course neither of those fixed the problem. But, he wouldn't listen to me and take out the old one's first and do a multimeter test on them (still says he doesn't know how to use it) to see if that's what was bad. Then after he complained some more, I said "can't you just hook up that extra dryer we have?" He says "isn't that a washing machine?".'s a dryer! Rolling my eyes........We used that dryer at our previous house (left by owners) and not this dryer. He's the one who does 90% of the laundry - I'd think he'd know if he had 2 dryers or 2 washers. Then when we moved into the shop he decided to use our old dryer instead. Kinda like his memory when a few days ago he told me to start opening up a couple windows up stairs for a little while in the mornings - just to get some fresh air upstairs. So, yesterday morning he comes up to my office and asks me why I have the window cracked open.....

And all of a sudden, the past couple of weeks all his jeans are giving up and ripping out. Two ripped out last week, so on Monday, I ordered 2 new pair from Walmart (he wears Wranglers relaxed fit). Usually stuff ordered from Walmart gets here in about 3-4 days. Then this week another pair ripped out. Now he's down to 2 pair and no dryer to keep washing/drying those 2 pair...and of course the new ones I ordered are on the slow train to get here. They won't be here until next Monday. I'm going to order 2 more, since he lost 3.

Woke up to our power out this morning. Waited another 3 hours for it to come back on. Work delayed 2 hours since I couldn't get online.

It's cooled down 30 degrees and raining. I like it. So, at least there is that that is good.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Headaches resolving

While I was trying to resolve all those headaches from yesterday we got a new one last night. Our heating/cooling thermostat got an error message alert. For some reason "zone 2", upstairs, stopped working around 8pm last night. I tried to google the message code, but all too involved for us. DH texted our hvac guy this morning. Bascially, it sounded like the thermostat display upstairs needed to just be reset (pull out of wall and plug back in) and then it started working again.

I think I have figured out my icloud photos. My icloud had over 800 pictures/videos on it and was full. I had to download icloud for pc. Then make sure my iphone setting was "on" for icloud photos. It was. Then I opened and signed into the icloud I downloaded to my pc. That's where I took awhile to figure out what to do. Up in the upper left was "download photos and videos". I did that and then it seemed to be doing nothing, but it was really downloading everything. It just took awhile, but they are all there in a new folder (that I created and designated it go to) on my pc. Then the instructions are to just delete the photos off of the phone. To start, I just did about 250 of the oldest photos. Supposedly, that will sync with the icloud and those will get deleted from there, too, allowing me more storage space.

I think DH's phone is sending pictures again now.  Still no reply from the hard drive guy. Just wow. I found a ph# for his business that is a 800#. It rang and rang and finally went to a recording that said best way is to text his cell # (which we have left voicemails at). I texted him about half hour ago. No reply.

Today is supposed to be the last day in the 90's. I think it got to 97 yesterday. Felt like an oven outside. By this morning, without the a/c working upstairs, it was 80 in my office when I started work, but since DH got on text with the hvac guy right away this morning the a/c came right back on and cooled down. I'm not sure what caused it to go off in the first place, but at least it was an easy fix.

I'm trying different desk chair this morning, along with a little box as a footstool. It doesn't seem to be helping much :(  It seems better if I just keep my right leg up on the box and not both legs. That takes off the pressure on the back of my leg with it raised up off the seat of the chair a bit. Now, I've added a pillow to sit on and see how that works.

Did I mention our dryer won't heat? it started last week. DH usually heats on medium setting, but I guess it would stop heating part way through the cycle. Then he said it worked ok on high. Now it's not that. He keeps telling me to "order the part". Well.....what do I need to order?  Googling the issue says it's usually one of 2 problems: a blown thermal fuse (caused by clogged vent, which dh says isn't clogged) or the heating element went bad. It also says both of those can be tested to see if they are the issue, with a multimeter (which DH has). But, he tells me he doesn't really know how to use the multimeter....(so why does he even have one). So, again I ask him - which part do you want to try? I'll be glad to order, but I need to know what you think is the problem. Plus, we have an extra dyer, he could replace that with. I just ordered both parts. The thermal fuse is only a few dollars, so might as well get both and hope it's one of them. The other part was $30. Pays to check around for pricing online though, the first place I looked it was $46. He keeps telling me it's working/not working but now it's my fault I didn't order these last Monday.

I do plan to get a new washer and dryer for the house laundry room and we'll just keep the old out in the shop.  The old ones are getting quite old now. Maybe 10 years. We've replaced parts on both, fixed ourselves, over the years. I think I'll see if there are any good deals at Lowe's around Labor Day weekend and if there is something with zero interest for like 6 months I'll put it on my Lowe's card and spread the payments out. I just don't want to put anything on a credit card until after we close for our mortgage loan (Aug 23). We also do not need those "fancy" washer and dryers. Just plain old style ones work for us. I also hesitate to get one with high capacity as DH is very weird about doing laundry and he does most of it. He will not do very big loads, BUT he will put the stupid setting at the highest size! I don't get it. But, on the occasion I need to wash a comforter or something I'd like the larger capacity. Anyway, I think I should be able to get a washer and dryer for under $1000 total.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019


I see from my latest quarterly garbage service bill it went up about $2 a month, to $133/quarter. What do you all pay for weekly garbage service? Ours works out to $44.33/mo. When we lived in the large metro area it was only $27/mo and that included picking up recycle can. They don't have recycling here. We have weekly pick up, as well as our new neighbors who built down at the end of the street. Our other neighbors (who have lived here about 10 years) do not. We had kind of been wondering what they did with their garbage, when we first moved out here. She worked for a business in town that had a big dumpster and said she took it in there (for free), but then that business closed last year and she has to drive into the city to work. Not sure what they do with their garbage now, but they still don't have garbage service and they don't burn it. Maybe they just take it over to the nearby transfer station every so often.

Today's first headache is trying to figure out why dh's texted pictures are not going through to people. On my phone they show up as "tap to download" but nothing shows up. He can receive my pics though. So, then I thought it was an issue with my phone, but then he said others (that are iphone and non-iphone users) are not getting his pics either. I really have no idea what I might have done to maybe fix it, but I am getting his pics now. I also sent a couple pics to DD (non-iphone) and she received them. I told him I think it's working now, but maybe send the pics he was trying to send other friends again and see if they get them.

Headache #2.....remember a couple of months ago when DH's external hard drive crashed and I found a guy (sorta in the area) that does data recovery? I mailed him the hard drive. He replied the next day it was received. Per our phone call he said it would be about 2-3 weeks before he could get to it. Well, now it's been almost 2 months! We have been trying to get a hold of him for a month now. Several emails and voicemails. No response from him. WTH?! If he can't/doesn't want to do it, just say so, send it back, and we'll find someone else. We're to the point that I just looked up his personal home # in the phone book and we will give that a try. I just don't understand people.

Headache phone icloud is full. I don't want to pay for extra storage. I need to figure out how to copy all these either to my hard drive on pc or copy to the free storage with Amazon Prime...or something! and then figure out how to get them all off the cloud, so I have room again. I picked a bad day to mess around with this, LOL, but I'm tired of seeing the message "your phone has not backed up, your icloud storage is full".  I keep trying to figure out how to download to my pc from online instructions and videos, but am only getting a handful of the 841 pictures and videos to download to my pc. I'm checking "download all". I'm not understanding how to do it.

Headache #4 - the back of my right leg continues to hurt every day I sit in this office chair. Weekends and days off are fine or sitting on sofa or other chair is fine. It just starts aching behind my leg ,just above the back of my knee and then usually travels down my calf and aches. Guess I need to go to the doctor, but they probably won't have a clue either. I've been trying to do gentle stretches again, every day, like I used to before it started hurting, but doesn't seem to help.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Rock on

DH is worn out spending Sunday and Monday shoveling rocks. So far, he's taking today off, but I doubt he'll make it all day. He gets too bored doing nothing.

Here's what he got done in two days. I can't remember how many wheelbarrow loads he said she shoveled - over 20, I think it was
Well, he actually got it all filled in, and added the lines for some sprinklers to water some plants when we add them. Up in the top left of the pick you can see the pile(s) of gravel. Next is the other side....The rocks look really pretty when wet - lots of different colors. We just don't get much rain here, LOL.

It was 95 yesterday and again today. I can only imagine how hot we would be feeling if we didn't have ac!

All those years of shopping with me rubbed off on DD. She really doesn't like Walmart, but it's the closest store to her and she knows they are usually cheaper. Target is about a mile farther from her house. She messaged me last night that she went into Walmart and bought a pack of thank you cards for $4.98, rather than paying $10 that Target wanted. She's also going to switch her dogs flea medicine for something cheaper. She's been using something expensive she gets directly from her vet that does flea, tick and heartworm. Now that they have 2 dogs, it adds up. They don't really have a tick problem where she lives, nor a heartworm problem. (though I imagine there are cases of it, just rarely). I have never had a vet (living up in Northern US) tell me to give heartworm prevention treatments, but apparently it's very much needed down south. We do have ticks here from April -  mid July, then it gets too hot for them. Where dd is has milder temps, but not a tick problem area at all. She would be fine to just do a flea medicine. I told her I use Advecta, which is similar to Advantix, but cheaper. When I want to use flea and tick during the tick months, I have been using Pet Armor Plus. Whatever DD used on her dogs for the wedding weekend (since we were up in the woods) she said smelled awful. I told her the Pet Armor doesn't smell at all (and neither does the Advecta). Our friends that just moved down south had to start giving their dog heartworm prevention medication.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Yard talk

Yesterday, Dh worked out in the front "yard" all day. We had some rock (1-3 inch approx sized) delivered on Saturday that is to be used in the landscaping areas. Eventually there will be some plants here and there. It was from a nearby little rock quarry a guy has on his property and very reasonably priced. Though, now getting it shoveled into the wheel barrow and spread out to the various areas is going to take DH forever and is laborious work. He wanted to take his little dump trailer over there and have them load that and then he could place some of the piles of it a little easier around where he needed, but the guy wanted to load/deliver it in his dump truck. And for some reason Dh is so worried about offending anyone around here by saying what he wants (and is paying for!) that he just let the guy deliver it, so then it had to be dumped in a big pile, farther away.  He spent all afternoon trying to get a drain pipe dug/pushed through under our front walkway patio, so he can add a sprinkler system to each side. He's kicking himself for not just being smart and having the stupid pvc pipe layed BEFORE they poured the concrete! Plus, it was like 90 degrees out. It doesn't look like we are going to see any relief from the 90's until next weekend.

We've just had a couple of our older lawn chairs out on the front patio, for when we want to sit there. They are the kind with the webbing. Brown frame and tan webbing. Nothing fancy, but figured we'd use them up. And we did. Both of them finally broke at almost the same time last week, LOL. I'm just ordering something similar from Amazon, but I think they look a little nicer since the seating part is solid pieces and not webbing.
They are $60 for the pair, but I had earned $30 from M-Turks so I transferred that to my Amazon payments and paid for half of it that way. I'd also like to find a little table to put in between them, but that can wait. We need patio furniture in the back, too, but now I'll probably just wait until next spring/summer. We do have an old 2-seater wood seat, with cushions in the back, so we do have something to sit on, for now at least. I'd like to get a table and 4 chairs for in front of the dining room doors and a couple of chaise lounge chairs for in front of our bedroom patio doors. Patio furniture is expensive!

No activity last night on the game camera dh put up. We'll leave it out there a few day or so and see. Hopefully, whatever had come through Saturday night, was just passing on through, haha.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Cowboy up

DD and her new hubby were on their way home from their honeymoon and passing by, so they stopped for a visit. We decided to go out to dinner and head back to our house right after and they'd get on the road again. That didn't happen! Well, at least for a couple of hours. On the way back to our house there was a big accident on the highway. Road blocked both directions for miles. There are no alternate routes around here, LOL. We were behind a cowboy in a pickup truck, heading to a rodeo. A little while later a couple of other cowboys were walking back to their truck, after walking up ahead to see if they could see anything (no one could, as it was miles up the road) so DH asked them if they saw anything. They stopped to chat and the cowboy in front us us walked back to talk to them, too. They were all headed - and going to now be late - for the rodeo.

I LOVE cowboys. LOL. Always have. These ones were the real deal, but the 2 walking back were so young, like 17 and 18. And always so polite. We enjoyed chatting with them for part of the wait. Finally, around 8:40 we got to start moving.

We have a pallet full of leftover stone for the outside of the house. They are in boxes that they came in, stacked 4-5 boxes high on the pallet, that is over on the side of our house, between us and neighbors. DH noticed a bunch of mouse droppings and the cardboard on the boxes tore into. Then he went around to the other side of it. One of the stacks, 4 high, was completely moved, turned at an angle on the pallet. DH said that stack is like 200 pounds. Then neighbor came outside and said he had noticed that too this morning because he had his dogs out and they were totally sniffing around it. They both figure it had to be something pretty big to be able to move the stack of stone like that. Maybe a bear? Neighbor has a game camera, so he brought it out and we're going to install it and see if we see anything the next few days.

Friday, August 2, 2019

the camper rental experience

So, just a little bit on our camper trailer rental experience. All good, I'd say. We went through, though I also looked at People list their personal rv for rent. Pictures and all the info about it and their rental policies are there to view. You can put in your dates and see what's available and the price. If you want to rent/reserve one, you enter your info. The only con in searching their website, is it seems to show a lot of rv's that might not be very close to the city you enter, so you have to be careful and watch and know the area.

In my case the lady who owned it replied right back, after I reserved it. Said to let her know if I had any questions. The website takes a 20% down payment to hold it. It appeared the refund policy in case of a cancellation, could vary by owner. About 4 days or so before, the rest of the rental fee was charged to my card. Two days before a $500 damage deposit was charged, to be credited back within 7 days of return.

I contacted the owner a few times, with questions, in the preceding couple of weeks. She was always very quick to respond. Though I had asked her if there were any camping chairs in the camper  (we weren't really going to have room in my car to bring those too) and she said no, there wasn't. So, I ended up making sure DD had a couple extra chairs with them. But, once we got the camper, I saw there were 4 camp chairs underneath in their storage area. I had also asked if bedding was included and she said yes. But, thankfully we brought our own pillows, as no pillows were included. The bed also only had a fitted sheet and a comforter on it. I'm kind of a top sheet gal, but oh well.

It was an easy pick up process. She had a check list to go through with us. I had to sign for it. She had it filled up with water and batteries charged (it didn't have a generator). We had asked if there was somewhere in the area to dump. She said there used to be a place in their little town (which we passed through) but she wasn't sure anymore. Other than that it was 30 miles in another direction.

Everything with the camper worked fine. We didn't use the kitchen or other "amenities" like tv, etc, since we were eating food provided by others and really only used it to sleep and take quick showers in. Since we didn't know how much water it held, we took "navy showers".  She had told me in one of her messages there was a vacuum in there, but I never found it. Underneath the dining seating was a cabinet that I found a vacuum hose and another vacuum attachment, but I never found a vacuum. I just used the broom and swept it out, before we returned it.

I had initially told her we would be returning it around 10-11am, but the evening before DH decided let's get going asap, so we would be returning it about 9am. I sent her a message to let her know (the outdoorsy site has email and texts linked together, so you can reply to each other either way). She said she'd make sure her dh was up by then, LOL. I didn't really think 9am was too early, but I guess, haha. We didn't find any dump place in their town and she had said not to worry about it, if there wasn't.

We got there right at 9am and her dh came out with his checklist to make sure it was all in good order. I had commented that since we were only camping about 20 miles or so away, we didn't have to put much miles on his tires, so that was good.  He asked if we dumped it and I said no, so he said he would to to their next town and could do it, but it would be $30 charge. Ok. no problem. I assumed they would credit my $500 damage deposit back, less the $30 dump fee, but the whole $500 was credited the next day.

All in all it was a good experience, and about the same as it would have cost us to get a motel room for 2 nights. I don't know how often they find renters and how much they had to give the outdoorsy company, but I suppose it's a good way to have a camper, use it when you want and earn some money back on it to make the payments. But, like DH says, he's too picky and couldn't handle letting someone else use his nice stuff, haha. But, most people aren't as particular about their belongs as my dh is, so it probably doesn't bother them.