Thursday, December 31, 2020

It's Thursday already

It's Thursday and New Years Eve already. I'm trying to make this week go slow! Yesterday I finished with taking down all the upstairs Christmas decor as well as the garland on each side of the staircase railings. We keep all the Christmas decor bins upstairs in a closet. This year we got smart and I'm making sure all the upstairs stuff goes in their own bins and and marked upstairs. Then next year when we are pulling them out dh knows where to take them and me not opening a box downstairs that is half up/half down stuff and then I have to carry the stuff back up.

Today I will tackle the tree in the dining room and all the misc decor. Tomorrow I will do the monster tree. Neighbor texted dh last evening that it's looking pretty dark over here without all our outside lights, haha. Taking down all the decor is not as much fun as putting it up, and now my house looks so bare.

Still no call on when the loveseat will get delivered. DH's lawnmower maint kit is still in transit/delivery date unknown, day 22. He had also recently ordered some batteries for his snap on tools to be "refurbished" and they shipped out last Wednesday, also via USPS. Yesterday the the tracking literally said it was out for delivery. It never showed up. This morning it shows delivery date unknown, in transit. Just ridiculous. Now on day 9 for something the guy paid priority mail to ship.

DD and her hubs almost have their hall tree done. It turned out so good. She ordered some coat hooks from Amazon that she supposed to get today. So far they spent $68 in materials for it. She is going to get some crates to stain and put underneath for shoes, but those are pretty cheap. They also bought some saw horses and a pocket hole tool, but now they have those to use for years. She showed me a pic as they were putting it together and I saw the nice pocket holes drilled and I'm like "you have a pocket hole jig?" She's like "I do now!" LOL.

My entryway mirror arrived last night. I love it! it's really nice and big, solid wood frame. I still can't believe it was only $80, as mirrors are so expensive. DH really likes it. We like it so much we can't decide which side of the entryway to put it on! It looks really good horizontal over the console table. It looks really good hanging vertical on the opposite wall. I told him we're not hanging it tonight. I need a day to decide, haha. I think I'm going to hang vertical on the opposite wall and put a fake 3ft-ish tall tree on the floor at the corner. So, now I have to figure out what to get to put over the console table, sigh......that'll take me weeks to decide........

Oh! and I think my eye had that scratch pain, like I had last spring for weeks and weeks! NO!!! I don't know if I dreamed it or what. A few times a week I still do put in the ointment when I go to bed. Sometimes I use drops during the day, but not often. It seems to have all healed. I'm pretty sure I woke up about 2am to that sharp pain again. I just kept my eyes closed and it didn't last too long and I fell back asleep. I woke up a couple other times and was fine. Now I'm wondering if I dreamed it. I hope so, but just to be safe I'll do drops a few times today and ointment again at bedtime.

We got a couple inches of snow yesterday. Still kinda piddly amount and not much stuck to the trees.

It's payday today, so I have a couple of bills I need to get online and pay. Anyone get their $600 stimulus $ yet? What a joke. I honestly wouldn't have a problem with the Republicans voting against it..IF they had also voted against giving millions/billions to other countries and other government sponsored things that don't need it during this pandemic. But, to give all this amount of money to foreign countries and not help all the people in our own country who are having such a hard time financially is beyond even this conservatives judgement. Oh well. I've come to the conclusion they are all corrupt, no matter what side they are on.

We are actually thinking of using our $1200 for more "prepping". DH is really worried there may come a day, even if it's for a short period, where communication is down and we won't be able to contact DD to make sure they are ok. I am looking into "satellite messenger phones". They are about $250 each plus a monthly service fee, from what I have researched so far. It would be nice having that piece of mind, at least to be able to basically text message each other to communicate we are ok. According to what little dh has researched so far, if the grid goes down, satellites will still work. Stuff to learn and figure out, for sure.

We will probably watch a movie tonight. I have a few that look good, saved to my YouTubeTV "library". I've never been one to want/need to stay up to ring in the New Year. I'd rather have my sleep.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

So me.....


Preparing for next Christmas

Doing a bit of shopping now for Christmas outdoor lights/decor next year. DH really wants a manger set/scene so we decided on this one. We aren't rich, so we opted for the "standard" size at about 4' tall. The largest size was $1250, way out of my budget. It's not on sale or clearance, but should give us many years of use and it will store flat in the box it comes in, so that will be good for storage space.

We had a humorous text with the neighbor text "group". Last year only our neighbors at the end of the street put up some lights, so of course dh wanted lights this year. Then they didn't put up any lights, LOL. We assumed it was because she was pregnant and they are also trying to build a shop and garage. But, last week she said since we put up lights this year, they didn't need to, LOL. Dh said oh is that how it works?! well, then next year it's Mr. Neighbors turn! So, dh texts that I've been buying stuff already for next year and he forgot to tell me next year it's Mr. Neighbors turn. Mr Neighbor replies back how can you top this year? it already looks like Disneyland, but for next year he'll put 2 red bulbs in his front porch lights. Ho ho ho!. I replied c'mon - go all out! put red bulbs in your garage porch lights too!. Then I said "how can he top this year? have you MET my husband?!!"  LOL.

I'm still waiting to hear when the loveseat will be delivered. Geez Louise! I got an email 2 days ago that it has arrived at the local delivery company and I will hear from them in 24 hours to schedule delivery. 

The wood framed mirror I ordered for the entryway is supposed to come today, so I'm excited about that. That lawnmower maintenance kit shipped usps 3 weeks ago is still "in transit" LOL.  I think someone could have walked it here faster. I don't know whether I should just request a refund and re order or what. Maybe it will get here by the time dh needs to mow the lawn again...??!!

I chatted again with my half sister yesterday afternoon helping her with Quickbooks. I was trying to help her figure out how to record her step dads credit card charges. Overall though, she's totally got this and has figured out everything quick. 

I did check my work emails this morning and had one item I needed to take care of, but it only took about 5 minutes.

My uncle called last night after his evening call with my mom. He was wondering what she has for tv service because apparently she keeps telling him she only has a few channels. LOL. I told him she has cable tv with tons of channels and that he just needs to keep reminding her she has a guide button on her remote control to see whats on. I have a feeling at times she does know to push the guide button, but then doesn't realize she has to push the down arrow button to see all the channel options below what she is seeing on her screen. Sigh......... 

I started putting some of the upstairs Christmas decor away yesterday. Can you believe I actually got this tree back in the box?! 

This is the smaller 6' flocked tree. I carefully "de-fluffed" it and didn't lose too much of the flocking falling to the floor. I also took off the Christmas bedding from the guest bed. Today I'll finish the upstairs. I need to put all my Christmas village away. I got some of it put in a box it came in, but the rest doesn't have the original box. They were just pieces bought individually years ago.

My dd and her dh are in the process of building a hall tree for their coats and shoes. They got started on it yesterday and she is so excited. I can't wait to see it. The one she showed me the picture of is perfect for their house. It also had plans on how to build so they knew exactly what to buy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Decor on a dollar

When I come across decor for my home that I like I always do an online search to see if I can find it cheaper on another website. Sometimes I can. Sometimes I end up just using that "idea" and getting something similar, in order to save money.

For example I came across this cute "birdie" table lamp. $85. I couldn't find it anywhere else, though I did sign up for their email and get a $15 off $50 purchase code, which would bring it down to $70. It would go perfect on my desk (I have some metal bird art on the wall over my desk).

 In searching Amazon to see if they carry it, I came across this bird lamp. 

Also very cute - and it's only $39, less then half the price. While the top one totally makes me think of the adorable mountain chickadees that come to my birdbath, the bottom one is very cute, so I have a feeling I'll be ordering that one, so that I have $30 left to spend on something else!

This is the lamp I got 2 of to go on the nightstands in the guest bedroom next to the bear log bed.

These were pricey (at least to me!) at $76 each. Well......that was the price yesterday when I put them in my cart! This morning they were at $89. I've had that happen numerous times before, so I am careful to watch to see if the price changes if I don't order it right away. That happened with that live edge coffee table I recently got. The price went up like $60, so I deleted it and checked back a few days later and the price was back down. Anyhow, the $76 lamps are 15" tall. I discovered there is also the same lamp in 12" tall size. I took my ruler into the room and did some estimating and decided I think I'd like the smaller ones better, and those were $70, so I saved $12 total of what I was going to spend. That $12 paid for the pack of AA batteries I also ordered for dh, LOL.

And while I'm on the topic of decor and trying to obtain it frugally - what the hell is wrong with people who post stuff for sale on Marketplace?! I came across this wood "card table" for sale about a half hour from me. Looks nice and solid wood for $100. It's been listed for 2 weeks. I messaged the seller to ask if it's still available and if so, what are the dimensions. Finally yesterday afternoon I see that she saw the message. No reply back. I had hoped it might be something that works for up in our bonus room. A round table to play games, do puzzles, etc.  

I received an email yesterday that my long awaited loveseat has arrived at the local delivery place and I should be getting a call from them soon to schedule delivery time. Finally. And speaking of deliveries, I ordered dh a maintenance kit for his Honda lawnmower back in the beginning of the month. It still hasn't arrived and it shipped out on the 10th. Nice job post office! NOT! First it showed tracking the first 3 days as still in the town in Indiana where it was shipped from. Then nothing for over 2 weeks. Then 2 days ago it finally shows received at distribution center, still in Indiana. Yesterdays update just says in transit. I don't know whether to just report it missing and get a refund or wait a few days and see. I think I'll check tracking tomorrow and if still not showing it getting closer, I'll get a refund and re order. Good grief.

I'm still helping my sissy with setting up Quickbooks, but sounds like she has a pretty good grasp on it now. Though she is supposed to call me later this morning to get help figuring out how to record credit card charges and payments. 

DH took down some of the Christmas lights outside yesterday and will probably pull down the ones on the house and shop today. He's got BIG plans for more lights next year LOL. I'm trying to order more from the website we got the new ones from but they must still be out of stock. Either that or their website isn't working right. With as much as he wants to do, I'll be ordering some all year long, haha. Then he said he wants a manger set/scene for the yard, so I'm trying to find that/figure out which one we like best. Then I said "wouldn't a real Christmas train going around the front yard field look cool?" OOPS! Now he so wants to do that, LOL. He said there was this house where he grew up that had full on lights and stuff in the yard that everyone came to see. He wants that. haha.

Monday, December 28, 2020

A new neighbor

The first bit of news is our neighbors did have their baby girl on Christmas morning! The new mom texted a few pics yesterday of the baby. She is adorable and they are all home and doing well. Her middle name is Noelle. Very sweet and perfect. 

Yesterday was super relaxing for me. I also talked on the phone with my half sister a couple of times. I'm helping her figure out a better way to do her step dads books for his ranching business. His accountant sent her a spreadsheet to try and track all his expenses on, but she doesn't know how to use excel. After she explained to me what she does/needs to do I said it sure sounds like Quickbooks would be the best route. She is a little familiar with that, as she uses it for her boyfriends business to do invoices and a few things. She just didn't know how to get a new company set up and all the accounts created. She was able to fairly quickly get the company set up and added expense categories she would need that weren't already listed. Now she just has to enter all last years transactions! have fun, LOL.

We hardly ever talk on the phone, but we do text quite often, but it was nice to hear her voice and laugh with her. I didn't realize Canada is so locked down as they are. They are all basically in lock down in their homes. Grocery stores can operate at 15% capacity. They can't visit anyone else's home at all. $1000 fine. For Christmas they lifted a tiny bit and said a single person living alone could visit another household for one day only. Good grief. She said screw it. She went to her daughters house on Christmas so she could be with her family/grandson and her other (single) daughter. They had to hide her car in the shop. She said she feels like they live in Berlin, when the wall was up.

My dogs have actually let me sleep in an extra half hour the past 2 days. We got a little snow yesterday, but so far it's been a milder winter than normal. DD said she and her hubby and their dogs went up to the mountains yesterday to play in the snow for a bit. She said her new winter boots worked perfect and her feet didn't get cold at all. I might get me a pair. They were cute and not too expensive. 

I used the $50 gift card my boss gave me and some of the gift money my mom gave me and ordered to lamps for the "bear" guest bedroom nightstands. They are electric, but look like old miners lanterns. 

Well, I need some breakfast in me and I'm sure my chicks want their morning bread treat.

Sunday, December 27, 2020


Just having my mom here 2 nights and 3 days was the right amount of time. (plus Wednesday and Saturday were half days, LOL). I got her back to her place at 2 yesterday afternoon. I thought I was being smart this time and when we got off the freeway (5 min from her place) I told her to start looking in her purse for her keys and mask. Every time I bring her back to her place (even if we just went shopping) she cannot find her keys in her purse that has about 5 or 6 zipper pockets. She will end up zipping and unzipping 3 times to finally find them (or they ended up in a pocket). 

She could not find the keys or her mask. Last time I dropped her off at Thanksgiving, they were in her suitcase, so when we got pulled up to her place, we looked in her bag she had brought this time and nope. I opened each zipper in her purse and did not see them. I know she had the mask on when I picked her up! I figured she must have just left her keys in her apartment, as you can lock the door when you are leaving without the key. So, I gave her my set of keys I have for her apartment and an extra mask I had in my purse. She did later find the keys in her purse, they had apparently got kind of tucked under the lining or something. 

Note to self: find all this BEFORE we leave my house next time...........

DH always find unique gifts to give me. He got me a neat metal art of Montana with all the rivers. It's in copper finish and perfect for the big blank wall along the kitchen area I've been trying to figure out what to put there. He also got me 3 puzzles where he took pictures he had taken of our house/property (with his drone) made into 500 piece puzzles. The best gift was a boot brush/scraper LOL. I was so excited when I started opening it and saw what it was. No more chicken poop on my boots/shoes! LOL. We all got a good laugh over that. He got me a few Christmas ornaments and another "book snow globe". He also had one of his really good drone shots of the river in winter (taken a couple years ago) blown up into a big print. We think we will get a frame and use this for above the tv/over the fireplace area that really needs something up there for decor. Now, I just have to find a good frame I like.

DD/SIL got me a nice light flannel shirt, some coffee, and  neat cribbage board that is on a moose antler (though not real, it's made of resin). It will look neat up in the bonus room, when we got it done one of these days. Mom gave us a card with a check/$, so that was nice. I think I'm going to use mine to buy some lamps for one of the guest rooms and a lamp for the loft sitting area. (Speaking of loft area, my loveseat still hasn't arrived, even though it supposedly shipped on Dec 11th)

We had given my mom a hat and scarf and the subscription to tv guide. DD got her some more crossword puzzle books and a calendar. In her stocking I had put some scratch off lottery tickets, cookies and dh had put some chocolates, when he was doing his stocking stuffing. With the items on the coffee table, where she was sitting, she couldn't seem to remember these were her things given to her. I was kind of surprised she had no recollection of what scratch off lottery tickets were. I thought she might enjoy them again, but she really didn't understand at all what they are. She asked how long they had been around and I said oh, I'm not sure, probably a good 25 years or more now.

Except even dh and I didn't really enjoy the scratch off. They are hard to figure out LOL. I can't tell if they won or not, though I know one did win $2. I think I'll just take them all in to be scanned to make sure I didn't miss finding a word in the crossword puzzles. 

I started one of the puzzles before taking mom back which gave us something to do for awhile. Then just before we were leaving dh started to help. I get back 2 hours later and he has it half done, haha. We worked on it together in the evening for awhile. I got up this morning and he had all done but the all blue sky pieces. He said that's my part to do. LOL.

We had given dd a pair of nice winter boots she had mentioned she wanted. I asked her what she got from her dh and one of the things were boots. I asked "winter style?" but thankfully no, he got her cowgirl boots :)

Well, my plans for the whole next week involve a bunch of relaxing and doing nothing! I now have 2 books downloaded from the library to read, so I should be set for the week.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Back to normal-ish's always kind of a relief to have Christmas over, haha. My dinner of the usual turkey and fixings turned out good, though about a half hour delayed because one of dh's friends who lives in California called to wish him a Merry Christmas. DH was "indisposed" at the time, so I chatted with him for quite a long time. He called just as I was about to stuff the bird. Mom did take a nap before dinner, which was a bit easier on me getting the side dishes ready.

Dh got his new telescope put together fairly quickly. We did look at some land areas in the distance, but it was too cloudy last night to view the sky. But, I know we'll have plenty of opportunity to view in the days ahead. Our big Christmas tree is right in the way of the window where we will set it to try to view the eagles nest, so that will have to wait until we take the tree down.

Mom seemed to have completely forgotten that we spent a good hour or more video chatting with dd and her hubby the evening before. The repeated questions haven't seemed quite as bad as at Thanksgiving, but I also know that is because she has only been here a couple of days vs. 5 days. LOL. Mostly I have answered numerous times if I know what the weather forecast is, and when do I take down my Christmas decorations. I turned on the tv last evening to watch a show, (just a comedian special) but she seemed to have a hard time following it or understanding when they talked fast. After it was over I turned the channel to a movie and realize why she doesn't watch those either. She just can't remember what is going on long enough to follow the plot. But, it passed the time, so that was good.

We got a little bit of snow last night, so I'm sure dh will want to drive us to take her back to her place after lunch today. We'll see. I just looked at the weather app and now it's staying rain later this morning so maybe it will be all ok. Temp up to 40 this afternoon. After dropping her off I just need to pick up my grocery order.

It's only Saturday, that kind of feels like a Sunday. And I am so excited to have a whole week off to relax. 

When we were looking online at the cabinets to order for dh's shop we first decided to order 2 sample doors, so I placed the order. Then he saw that the good sale ended that day so we picked the one we thought we'd like best (they were both a darker stain) and hoped for the best. Well, the 2 sample doors came Wednesday. Thankfully we did order the one we ended up liking best now after seeing it in person. Whew! I'm not sure how long until they arrive, but probably at least a few weeks.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas morning

Merry Christmas. It's Christmas morning, about 7:40am. Still completely dark outside. I'm sitting in the quiet, at my computer, with a cup of the coffee dd/sil sent me as a gift. I was up at my usual 7, for the dogs and then wanted to get my stocking stuffers stuffed. My mom got up, but I think she realized it's still pretty early, so she decided to go back to bed for a bit. I think she hears me (well hears the dogs) up and getting fed and thinks she needs to get up then, too.

I picked her up yesterday at 11. Then I drove down the street to a grocery store to look for eggnog, which they had lots of. After checking out I stopped at the lottery machine and got $20 worth of scratch off tickets to put in the stockings. Mom just waited in the car as I was probably only in there less than 10 minutes (but it was busy! all the stores looked busy). We got to my place about noon and I made a lunch of some soup. We chatted awhile and she decided to go up to her room to take a nap. I told her if I'm not here when she wakes, I'm just over at the neighbors giving them their gift. 

When I called earlier, Mr. Neighbor said Mrs had to work half day (I forgot she would) so wouldn't be home until early afternoon. I said ok, just call when you guys are free and I'll come over. She called when she got home. We ended up visiting in her foyer for like 45 minutes, LOL. We haven't talked in awhile so lots to catch up on.

For dinner I made my homemade pizza, which was really good. Reminded me of growing up, as we always either went out for pizza or had it at home. Mom doesn't seem to remember this. She really doesn't seem to have a lot of her past memories either now, sadly. The ones she does have seem to be way back, before I was born.

She did remember to bring all her mail, and the form I needed to change her banking transfer info with her investment company. In the mail as also her social security notice of her new 2021 rate. Hers is going up about $120/mo, as she didn't take as much out of her retirement funds as she did in 2019 tax, return, plus the little increase in ss.

Early evening we opened presents. I got dd/sil on Facetime so we could chat and watch each other open gifts. We have always took turns opening one at a time, so it can take awhile. It was actually pretty fun, at least as good as it can be without them being here in person. We had lots of laughs, though I wish I had a bigger screen than my ipad mini, mostly for her to see us 3 better.

I think dh liked his telescope, but I think he's probably a bit worried it will be too hard to figure out how to use. I received a lot of nice gifts........which I will chat about in the next post :) (but lets just say I will probably never want to do a puzzle again LOL)

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve

Yesterday I kept busy, but didn't feel rushed or too busy. First thing I did was my side job payroll transmission, which only took me about 15 minutes. Then I was done working (I hope!). Then I vacuumed upstairs and down (still loving my new Shark vacuum, btw). Straightened up the "bear bed"....again....only to go in a hour later with a dog napping there and of course he took the blanket on the end to make a place to snuggle, LOL. 

Then I cleaned out the chicken coop. I do that about once a month (in between I scoop poops into a bucket with a lid I have in their coop). Refilled their waterer and food. The chicken with all the feathers missing at least does not look any worse since I first noticed it on Sunday, so I feel a little less worried about her.

Then I ran into town to get milk and a few things. It was festive. Santa was sitting out in front of the courthouse to visit with kids who happened to stop by. Inside the tiny grocery store they had squeezed in a 2 man band playing Christmas music. I wanted to get more eggnog, but was bummed they had none. I am glad though that they did have the frozen dinner rolls that I use to make my pizza dough, as I was out of them. I decided not to check the pharmacy (it looked packed anyway) for a I was adding a couple of presents to under the tree and moving a couple others to make of them, from dh, sounds like a puzzle, haha! 

On my way leaving town I texted my neighbor at the end of our street to see if she was home and I could drop off my gift. I had brought it with me, so if they were home, I could drive down to their place, rather than walking in 25 degree weather. Honestly, I was hoping the reply back was "no - I'm having the baby!" haha! But, no...she is still 8.9 months pregnant. She is due on Christmas Day. I am going to try to drop off the vanilla to my next door neighbors this morning before I go get my mom. Mr. was gone all day yesterday and Mrs doesn't get home from work until a little after 6 and it's so dark and I'm sure she's tired and just wants to get dinner, so I didn't want to bother them last evening. It's usually just the 2 of them at home for Christmas, so I'm sure sometime today or tomorrow I can catch them home.

My work had said they created a gift for each employee and mine arrived ups last night. It's some company swag, LOL. A nice white, really soft sweatshirt with a faint gray logo on front. A winter knit cap with logo, a baseball type cap and a travel mug. Also tucked in the box was a  car from my boss with a $50 visa gift card. Our employees have also been busting their butts this past month trying to meet some bonus sales quotas a few of our manufacturer's offered. We are so close and finally yesterday met one of them, which is a $30,000 bonus to our company. The other's offered range from $20k-$50k and one is offering a gift of lobster and wine delivered to each employee if we make the sales goal.

I also got my online grocery order mostly entered, as I will want to pick it up Saturday, after dropping mom back off at her place. I realized I better get it done, as I don't want to be figuring it out on Christmas day, LOL.

I called my mom Tuesday and told her to write down a list of 3 things I want her to make sure she brings with her: her phone charger, a form her investment company mailed, and any mail she wants me to look at. I called her again to remind her yesterday and I'll call her again to remind her this morning.

I have been hoping that a box/delivery that comes regular mail is too big for our box and the mailman has to stop by, so I can give him his little gift, but no luck. So, I'm about to go walk down to the mailbox and put it in with the flag up. To make sure he knows its for him (even though the tag says so) I'm going to try (if the tape will stick to the frozen mailbox) to tape a note on the front of the mailbox to tell him to take the gift inside :)

Time to get to it and get showered and dressed so I can leave here about 10:15 to get mom.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Let's do Wednesday

We got a tiny bit of snow, so it does now feel more like winter/Christmas here. The temps have dropped quite a bit and it's cold again, but supposed to be sunny, cold and clear skies the next few days. Good, since I need to go to town sometime today and then go pick up my mom tomorrow....gosh, is it Christmas eve already tomorrow?

It was funny yesterday afternoon. A gift had arrived in the mail from a friend and just as I was opening it, she messaged me that she just got the gift I sent her. It was the little mini Christmas tree I had sent from the online flower company. Apparently the little decorations for it have to be put on by the recipient, but she sent me a pic after she got the little ornaments on and it looks just like the picture when I ordered. It even had a little set of lights. She said she loved it. She sent me some cute chicken things. A dish towel, a candle holder and a trivet. The flower company orders I did on Monday weren't supposed to deliver until today but both delivered (ups) yesterday, so that was fast. Our other friends said they liked the evergreen centerpiece - living in Texas now, he said they miss the smell of evergreens, so this reminded them of their old home.

I got my side job payroll done first thing this morning and I am officially done with work until Jan 4th. Wooo! Though I will probably check in my email a few times today, just in case anyone needs a sample order put in, since my boss isn't working today either, she's usually my back up, if I am off.  Everyone is off at 2pm today, so I doubt there will be much, if anything going on today. My side job office is closed the rest of this week, so I shouldn't have anything from them today.

I'm just going to do some cleaning today - need to vacuum and mop. And clean out the chicken coop. I should have done it yesterday or Monday when it was almost 50 degrees out, LOL. Did I mention I stopped turning the "porch" light on for them? I had been turning it on in the morning about 7:15 for an hour or so. Then I'd turn it back on about 4:30 in the afternoon. Well, after about a week or so they just kept staying up later and later and not going up inside. It got to be 9pm (I wanted to get in my jammies and get ready for bed) and they are still out in their open area wandering around. I didn't want to just go out there and shut the light off because I wasn't sure if they could see their way to get up on the roost bar inside their nesting area. I had read they can't see at night. So, somehow I encouraged them to get up in there before I turned out the light. Since then I've just left them to deal with the natural daylight hours, LOL. Still getting about 3 eggs a day, so guess the shorter daylight isn't affecting them too much.

Dogs hearing must be really good, haha. I can snap a milkbone dog treat in half, to give one of the dogs and the other dog isn't anywhere nearby and he will come running, just from that little snap sound. LOL.

I'm kind of bummed that I have all this time off now and my ebook/library reading supply has dwindled down to one book I'm finishing. Everything else I have on my list I'm still waiting for my turn. One really long book, I didn't get finished a couple of weeks ago before my borrowed time was up (because I was spending more time watching cheesy Christmas movies), so I had had to reserve it again and it's still going to be weeks before I get it back again. I'll have to do some searching for books that are currently available and sound good to read.

I think for Christmas eve dinner, with my mom here I will make a pizza. We haven't had that in awhile and growing up that used to be our tradition - pizza on Christmas eve. Lots of times we'd go out to this Italian Pizzeria for a family dinner or sometimes go pick it up to eat back at home.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

last day of work this year

What a transformation a friend of mine just went through in looks. Wow! I have known her since I was 5 years old. She lived across the street and I think a grade older than me, but she went to the Catholic school and I went to the public school. I lived in that house 4 years and moved away in 4th grade, never to see her again. We connected on Facebook several years back. She's a beautiful, tall, black lady. Since I have known her on Facebook the past years her hair has always been black, straightened and about shoulder length with bangs. She has a killer smile. Well, she just chopped her hair off very short and curly, no bangs, and let it go white/gray! She looks absolutely stunning! It's quite a change. 

Still no text back from my friend in town. Hopefully we can connect sometime maybe next week, after Christmas. I will try texting one more time next week. 

I need to take something to mail for work out to my mailbox again this morning. I just know it's going to be icy out there. It was so wet from all the rain the past couple of days and then got near freezing last night. But, mail comes pretty early so gotta get it out.  

I was totally bummed that with all our rain the sky was all cloudy last night and no chance to see the Christmas star. Usually we have clear skies and a great view of stars. Everyone's pictures I am seeing on Facebook are so neat, it sure would have been neat to see in person. But, I have to say in the past couple of months I have seen 2 things in the sky I have never seen before: a shooting star and the Capella star, so that is pretty neat, too.

Well, the walk to the mailbox was ok. It's been snowing lightly, so there is a little bit on the pavement. I did hear one of the bald eagles calling during my walk.

My chicken (Gladys), who has the areas of feathers missing, at least doesn't look any worse the past couple of days, so I feel better about that. She still eats and is active just like the others. I don't know how long it takes to get her feathers back, but I did take a picture of her the other day, when I asked my sister about it, so I have something to compare it to to see if it's getting worse or better.

I wish I would have thought to get another puzzle to do while mom is here. When I had those puzzles over Labor day weekend it was a good thing to keep her busy and focused. Less time for her mind to just wander and repeat all day. I gave my dd the puzzles when she was here visiting last. Otherwise I just would have done one of them again - mom probably wouldn't have remembered she even did a puzzle here a few months ago, let alone that it was the same one! LOL.

My last day of work this year. Basically I HAVE to get payroll done and the state monthly business tax return filed. Hit a snag already trying to do payroll, of course. For some reason everyone is showing a Holiday pay of 8 hours for Saturday 12/26. Well we aren't even open on weekends, so I don't know why/how that got there. It was supposed to have been fixed, last week, when I caught it, but logging in this morning I see it's still there, so I put an email into our payroll advisor. So, now I wait for her reply.

I just got a call from one of our manufaturer's. Apparently they sent us a commission check back in March that has never cleared the bank. I don't show receiving/posting it. She is sending out a replacement check today - it's for $53,000, so that's a nice "surprise" for us. My boss will be happy to hear this news.

I'm trying to figure out that new AmEx card I got. They already credited me the $200 cash back for making the $1500 in purchases, so that is great, but the card was also supposed to be 1.5% cash back on all purchases and so far (after one statement) I have none showing. I guess I'll have to call and ask.

While I'm waiting for payroll person to get back to me, I'm going to run downstairs and jump in the shower.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Short week

Well, this isn't Montana winter weather LOL. It's raining (pouring) again today and going to be almost 50 degrees. I'm waiting to hear back from our IT dept this morning, as I can't open my email. At least I can access it via my phone and also I can open it from the internet, but of course that isn't all real handy or efficient way to work. Hopefully they will contact me soon to resolve. It should be a fairly quiet 2 days of work this week. Lots of people are taking the week off, including my boss, who I typically get a lot of emails and messages from.

I need to go put some outgoing mail in our mailbox, but waiting until I can at least see to walk there, haha. Sunrise here isn't until 8:22. I'm always happy when today comes each winter, as then I get to tell myself from here forward it will start getting lighter out just a bit earlier each day and staying lighter out just a bit longer each day. 

Just got a call from one of the IT guys. He can't figure out why my email isn't working, so he set me up with a "fix" to view my email from my browser until the head IT guy can take a look when he gets in later this morning.

I sent my friend in town a text yesterday morning - asking her if she has to work this week (I don't think so as the schools closed until the new year) and that we wanted to stop by for a few minutes and wish them a Merry Christmas, and when would be a good time to catch them home (hopefully both of them home, as her dh works nights now). Crickets..........she has been weird the past 6 months or so. DH tries to text with her dh, and while her dh is not much of a texter he used to occasionally text dh first to say hi. He would always text dh during hunting season to show him what he got and I don't think he did this year. Hard to know what the problem could be, it's not like we've even been able to have much face to face contact since Covid hit, to do something to upset them? She and I used to text fairly often and she's usually quite humorous to text with. At the beginning of the year her son and his new wife had a baby, who got sick and had to go out of state to a children's hospital. She kept me up to date and I even sent her a check to give them, to help them out with all the expenses they were having. (baby is fine now) This was right before Covid hit. Then she got the baby chicks and had the extra ones and asked if I wanted them. I did, but our coop wasn't even started building yet. Then it took 2 months to build. Several times I told her I'm sorry, but I can't take them until it's done/ready, so if you have someone else who would like them, please go ahead and let them have them. She held on to them and I was able to take them last May, but texting with her has been really hit and miss. Like once in awhile I'll text her to say hi and she doesn't even reply. Then 2 weeks later she'll text me that she's got free food to give away. I did text her last month to ask what kind of chicken water heater she used and she did reply, but again, nothing more than answering me. Then after I used it awhile I texted her a picture and said this set up is working great and she gave a quick one text reply.  Who knows.....I know life changed a lot for them this past year, in some ways. Her dh used to work out of state and was gone 2-3 weeks, then home 2 weeks. When covid hit he chose to quit, I guess, because there was no way for him to go there, as he'd have to get there 2 weeks prior to his work session starting and quarantine in a hotel for 2 weeks, then he could work his 3 weeks, but he couldn't go back home, or he'd have to quarantine to go work again. So he found a job about an hours drive from home. Of course it's much less pay, so I'm sure they aren't happy about that and I know she was used to having him gone all the time and not home on a daily basis....

DH had ordered 2 sets of big heavy gate hinges for his big gate to put out front, like 6 weeks ago. They sent one set, but we've had to wait for the other set and it's supposed to come today. I guess now dh needs to find someone who can do some welding of the hinges to our gate posts. I'm sure that will be a chore to find someone and then get them to actually come and do it, LOL.  

I have a few odds and ends to order online, just stuff we are out of/need but I'm going to wait a few days to get ordered. I don't want/need them before Christmas or needing to give the UPS/FedEx drivers more work than they are already delivering up through Christmas eve, LOL. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Weekend warm

Crazy warm weather we are having for our area the past few days. Mid 40's and rainy last night and today. It needs to snow so dh has something to do (ie plow) LOL. 

What a pain trying to order flowers is. I wanted to send a Christmas flower gift to 2 friends. My work payroll company is always sending us emails with discounts with various companies offered through them, so I thought I'd check and see if I could get them cheaper that way. First I logged into one of the flower companies online. Picked what I liked. One said $48. The other was $37.50. Then I logged into work so I could get my login info with our payroll company and link to the flower store through there.

When I logged into the flower store the $48 item was showing as $45. Nice, I'll save a few bucks. But, I thought I should log in through the payroll company from MY desktop, so I can activate the Rakuten offering 15% cash back. Well, that was a hassle. I needed to open my Outlook so I could get to where I have my payroll login and password saved. Email isn't opening. Finally, I got the log in and password, so I could open the discounts page and get the link.

I log in via my home desktop and the $45 price is now showing. I put the 2 items in my cart. Then I activated the Rakuten cash back and the prices in the cart changed! They basically increased to offset the Rakuten cash back! what the heck?! 

Then I tried a different flower company. Why do these flower companies (FTD, ProFlowers, etc) websites all look exactly the same and offer the exact same photos/items? This second flower company had the same prices, but the delivery day options were better (are supposed to deliver Wed instead of Thursday) so I decided to go with this one. I got it all in my cart and then decided to try activating Rakuten's 10% cash back offer for this store and see if the prices went back up in my cart. They did not, so that was good and after an hour of all this, I finally had an order placed. Now I have to hope both get there before Christmas. I have my doubts, but my fault for waiting so long. Honestly I was kind of hoping not to have to figure out something to send them, but the one friends just sent something again this year (gift basket of snacks) and I see in my USPS informed delivery the other friend has something on the way. I'm kind of like Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory Christmas episode where he's explaining to Penny why he doesn't like exchanging gifts "Then I have to get a gift of equal or commensurate value to give them!" LOL

I got my Christmas sugar cookies made yesterday. These are a recipe my mom made every year (until several years ago) and they are so good and melt in your mouth. They are made with powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar. In my 30-ish years of making them they have never turned out perfect like hers always did. Mine always tasted good, but rarely turned out a good shape from the cookie cutter design. They always puffed way up so you couldn't tell it was a tree or a bell LOL. Finally, this year is about the best they have ever turned out for me. Who knows why.

Sometime today through Wednesday I need to give my vanilla extract gifts. They do seem to be smelling less like vodka now that I added some more vanilla beans. I think I'll deliver to my 2 neighbors this afternoon. Our friends in town, I think I'll text her to ask for best time to stop by and catch both of them home (dh wants to visit too) between now and Wednesday. The other bottle goes down to some neighbors about a mile down the road. They stopped by last year and gave us some homemade kahlua (I had just made doggy biscuits, so I gave them a bag of that), so this year I feel like we should take them something (even though I don't think we've seen or talked to them all year!) - you know....the Sheldon thing....not to mention I'm such an introvert that I have to work myself up to wanting to go see/talk to people, LOL.

Well, I'd better get in the shower and get to it.

Friday, December 18, 2020

TGIF whatnot

DH still has things to do/needed to finish the shop as far as shelving and cabinets storage. Needed so he can start emptying these bins! Originally his plan was for these nice aluminum shop cabinets. They are quality and they are pricey.....but, as we are out in his shop yesterday and he's trying to show me what he wants and where to put the 3 cabinets above his work bench, I'm like you know....with all this wood you did with this loft that is above where your cabinets will be I don't think the aluminum kind will look very good. I think wood cabinets would look much better (and I'm thinking they probably cost similar anyway). He was really leaning towards agreeing with me and then when we started pricing those out, much cheaper - by like half! So, of course I'm trying to steer him in that direction and make him think it's his idea LOL.

This morning he's still leaning towards the wood cabinets, so we have decided to order a couple of sample doors from an RTA cabinet company so we can see the 2 dark brown finishes. They charge for the sample doors, but say refunded upon return. Kind of strange though that both of these are their "shaker" style doors and one sample door is like $20 and the other is $25, but the cheaper door sample is more expensive than the higher priced sample.  He's giving me more of a headache than I already have trying to decide! I thought we were good now, waiting to see the 2 samples, but then he just realized these sale prices end today. Sigh..........

This morning I noticed one of my chickens has a bunch of feathers missing! On both sides below her wings and a bit on her chest and top of back. Eek! I've never seen another hen (or any of them) pecking at each other. My half sister (who has a whole bunch of chickens) says it sounds like she is getting broody and she says they will pull out their feathers to make a nest. About 3 or 4 evenings ago I went out to the coop to make a last check (make sure there wasn't another egg). It was dark and they were all up on the roost, like usual, except this chicken. She was in the nesting box. Plus twice this week when I was looking in the nesting boxes (there are 2 of them) there was poop in them. There has never been poop inside the nesting boxes before. My sis, via texting, is assuring me it's just her trying to go broody. I hope that's all it is and not something wrong with her that I don't know about or am not taking care of. I'm sure I'll get a bunch of other opinions and if I text my friend in town, I'm sure she'll give me a different opinion too, LOL. We also discussed dust baths and I just realized they haven't been able to do that last couple of weeks as the ground is frozen. The past few days warmed up and I see they dug a dust bath hole but I should figure out some way for them to do their dust baths when it's so frozen out. My sis says she puts like wood ash in a cat litter box.  I don't have any ashes, but will have to figure out something to use that doesn't freeze on them.

My uncle called last night. I guess my mom told him she was worried the Russians were going to hack into her bank account. He said he assured her not to worry. She's never mention anything like that to me before. 

TGIF. Trying to get motivated to finish working today, LOL. Then only 2 more days of work and don't go back until Jan 4th. I can do it!


Thursday, December 17, 2020

gifts arrived and gifts given

The telescope I got dh for Christmas arrived last night. Yay! It was late and dark out by the time the UPS guy got here, not to mention a bit slippery out. DH went out to meet him at the truck, so I told him don't look at the box (because of course the company name was all over it)! haha. It's a pretty large box. I had him carry it upstairs for me to the bonus room (where he had set up his "wrapping station") and I quickly wrapped it and then made him come back up and get it and take it back downstairs to put under the tree. A box of gifts from my dd also were delivered and are now under the tree. She's so cute. She didn't want all the bows to get smushed on the boxes, so she put the bows in a ziploc and had me put them on, LOL.

The astronomy book I ordered, just in case the telescope didn't arrive before Christmas hasn't even shipped yet! I'm tempted to cancel it, but he will probably enjoy the book, too. Just hope it gets here in time. 

Dh wanted to give the delivery drivers and our garbage man gifts, so I had picked up some boxes of Hickory Farms stuff. The wrapped boxes have been sitting on the new entryway table all week and I would tell dh if UPS or FedEx was coming so he could be on the lookout and take out their gift before they drove away. Well, each day he didn't give to them. Then tells me yesterday I need to give them....I'm like why? first off you are the one they see and talk to all the time (he will stand and chat with them all the time) and second off, it was your idea to give them gifts. So, FedEx guy shows up first and dh is out chatting with him. He has been our FedEx guy for years, even when we had the house in town. He's kinda young (late 20's) and kinda goofy. LOL. Well, apparently a month or two ago he told dh he's moving to TX to be with his girlfriend, so we've had a different driver (though we don't get FedEx deliveries very often). But last week he delivered again (but dh didn't get to talk to him) so we were thinking it must not have worked out and he moved back. So, while he's giving dh the packages yesterday I went out with the gift and we chatted with him. He's just back temporarily to help out with the season busy time and then going back. Then he showed us the ring he bought to propose to her. He's sweet...and goofy, LOL.

Our garbage comes at like 6 or 6:30 am, so dh set his alarm at 5:45 and got up and got dressed so he could take out the gift when driver came. I got up at 7:15 and the garbage truck was just pulling up. DH went out there with the gift....sure enough - it wasn't our regular driver - he's on vacation and this was a fill in guy, LOL. DH gave it to him and told him he has to share it with our regular guy. DH is like this is the story of my life. He went back to bed!

Following a decor Facebook page has helped me realize more what I like and don't like, haha. The one who posted pics of her home today literally gave me anxiety just looking at the pics! LOL. Looks like a small home, but literally every inch of space has something in or on it. The nice little kitchen: literally every wall covered with pictures, from the ceiling on down to the floor! even the cupboard doors. The counters covered in stuff. Open shelves and a baking rack filled with stuff from floor to ceiling. Pots and pans hanging from the ceiling. Even the door jambs for the openings to the other rooms have knickknacks hanging from floor to ceiling along them. Every room pretty has pictures/art/plates wherever there is a space. Every surface is filled with stuff and knicknacks. I'm not quite sure I've ever seen something like it. It's all kept nice, but I can't imagine how one could ever clean or dust any of it. I also cannot stand pictures and stuff on the refrigerator. To me, nothing says clutter more than seeing that in a picture of someone's nice home.

It appears my headache I keep having is caused by a bit of a pinched nerve in my neck, I think. Those are never fun, but something I've dealt with on and off ever since I had that car accident back in 2007. Hopefully it will "unpinch" itself soon. I'm trying to do some neck stretches my chiropractor I used to see had shown me to do. It would probably be handy if I got myself one of those neck traction things that you wrap around your neck and pump up. That was always helpful when he had me use that in his office.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Decor on a budget

I'm trying to get ideas/inspiration for my entryway decor. The prices of things are ridiculous. I'm not spending $500 for plants and knicknacks just for a small area (not to mention what I already spent for the table)! All the kitsch I found is at least $30 each. One horse figurine I liked was $114, on sale half off! I searched for rustic mirrors to hang over the new table. Those certainly aren't cheap and the one I liked best is $150. I'm going to do some more searching and see if I can't come up with something at least similar that is cheaper.  This is the mirror I like

I'm also going to go the frugal/DIY route with as much as I can. I found some wooden unfinished candlesticks on amazon for $10 for 2. We have lots of leftover stain, so I'll stain them and then maybe do a white wash over them and distress a bit to show the stain underneath. We have a zillion plastic pots outdoor plants came in, in several sizes that dh won't throw out. I'm going to get some jute rope and get out my hot glue gun and make some planter baskets wrapped in jute and then buy some fake greenery to put in them (on sale/with coupons, of course). We also have a million boxes from all the stuff shipped all the time, that I can wrap some small boxes in the jute and make some baskets for fake plants, too.

I found an inexpensive copper looking tray on amazon for $17. Then last night dd was at Cabelas and saw this cute set of 3 pillar type fake candles that look like wood. I said they are super cute and she asked me if I wanted her to pick them up for me. I said well, let me just see if they are online, so we wouldn't also have to pay for her shipping to me. They are online and $29. Then I said to her, well if you want to get those for me for my birthday gift, that would be great! She had asked me the other day for some gift ideas for my birthday next month. So she said Done! Happy Birthday! LOL.

I kept looking for a cheaper wood framed rustic mirror. I found this one on Amazon for $80 - and it's much bigger. I also found some of those metal corner brackets, like the first mirror has, online for $2.50 each. But, then I went downstairs to look at the wall space above the table - this mirror on Amazon is huge 42x29 and I think it would look too big. So, back to searching for something similar in style and price, but smaller.

I also have an old painting "print" that was in my old old house (2 houses ago LOL) but does not match ANY decor I have now. I keep saying I'll take it to Goodwill but keep forgetting to get it out of the closet. Well, shoot, it's a large picture and the frame is pretty nice. Why don't I see if I can find something new to put in the frame, that matches my decor? I need to figure out the exact size and see what I can come up with. The frame is like 36x28 and it does have a mat in it, too. I found a neat picture I could order online, it's actually of the river we live on, taken just a few miles from us. Different sizes of prints are offered, so I think I'll see if I can get that to work and have a new framed picture for minimal $.

Not to mention I tend to decorate an area slowly and in stages, so it doesn't look complete, so then I'm not really liking it....I just want to get this little area all done at once and not spend a fortune.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Computer hassles

Yesterday was a busy long day. We had problems (again/still) with our accounting software, so only one of us was allowed to have it open. Apparently IT fixed it overnight, but had to shut our server down for a bit (again) to do it, so that's why it didn't get fixed until after the workday ended. I'm sure IT is getting as frustrated with this as my boss and I are.

The night before dh had asked "don't we have the Hatfields and McCoys" movie (the one with Kevin Costner) and I said yes and went and found it in all our dvds. We don't have a dvd/bluray player hooked up anymore (I plan to when we get our bonus room set up with a big tv), but he should have been able to watch it from his computer. Geez, I guess Windows 10 doesn't even really have a player anymore. We had to use something else so he could watch and even that was a pain. For some reason his dvd/cd drive sometimes wants to work and sometimes not. I don't think he's even used it for anything since he got this computer. Put the disc in and it reads that there is a disc in the drive, but won't play. Then the next time it won't recognize a disc is in the drive. After 3 or 4 tries, it would finally play.

Last evening he went to put the dvd away and came back down with a few more to watch. Well, the first one I finally realized wouldn't work because it was blu-ray. The next one was some homemade racing video he bought years ago. I couldn't get it to work. So, it's 9:20pm when he starts all this. I'm just about to head into bed. Finally at 10:30 I get to go to bed! I was able to get a regular dvd movie he had picked out working. Then he got out his old old laptop and later told me he was able to watch that racing dvd on it. Then this morning he says sorry, he didn't realize how late it was when he was having me help.

I called my mom's medicare advantage plan insurance to make sure she doesn't need to "re-enroll" for 2021. She doesn't. They will automatically continue her coverage for the new year. Took me 5 minutes of going through their phone system to finally get to talk to someone to answer that simple question.

I still have the dang headache at the base of my skull. I counted how many of those new pills I've used to see if it started around the time I started using those. Nope. I've been taking them for 35 days now LOL, so that is not what's causing it. I thought I had maybe started them a couple week ago. Time flies when you are having fun, eh?

Today is payday. I still have a couple of bills I pay online, but not on auto pay. Mostly because I kinda like to pay them and check them off my list, haha. But, with all I have now to do, with the addition of my mom's life, I think I'm going to get those put on auto pay now, too. 

In other good news, my company president has decided to close our office between Christmas and New Years, giving everyone the time off paid. I had already set up to use my PTO days to have that time off, so now I won't need to use it. I'm never going to get my oodles of hours used up!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Getting motivated

For some reason the past week or two I keep putting things off, so I spent part of the afternoon yesterday wrapping gifts (mostly all for DD/SIL). I then realized I had wanted to get DD one more gift, but never did, so I ordered something off Amazon, in a gift bag, and it will ship direct to her, since now it's too late to wait for it to get here, wrap, and then ship to her. Then I took my wrapped gifts out to the shop so dh could find a box in his hoard of boxes. He puts a box together and he's getting them to fit and he goes to find some filler and I noticed blood smeared all over the packages!

He had cut his hand an hour or two earlier, put a bandaid on, but it apparently split open again and was completely bleeding through, under, around the little bandaid. GOD! So, I had to take 2 of the presents back in the house, back upstairs, and re-wrap them! He's a walking disaster.

I got the new vanilla beans sliced open and added to my jars of extract. I will deliver next weekend and just tell them to wait on using it awhile longer. Hopefully those extra beans will help. I had sliced the beans in half and then cut each of those halves lengthwise, so about 6 "pieces" were added to each jar, equivalent of 1 1/2 full length beans.

I have had an occipital headache at the base of my neck for like a week now. UGH. I haven't had that happen in a long time. I can't seem to get rid of it. I heated up my little rice bag to put on the back of my neck this morning, but I had to get up to do something midway through and by the time I got back to my desk, it had cooled down and I haven't had time to go back downstairs to reheat it in the microwave again. I'm also wondering if it has something to do with the new brand of one of my meds I was sent in a refill. Obviously a different mfg as the pills are twice as large as they've always been (one of my mom's meds through same mail pharmacy was also changed to different mfgr as her pills looked totally different which really confused her). I've been on atenolol for many many years. Years ago I had gotten a different mfg refill and I had a headache for like 10 straight days. I got the pharmacy to put me back to the regular one and the headache went away. It's making me wondering if this new pill is causing the non-stop headache. I'll have to figure out when I started these new pills. Prettty recent, within the last 2 weeks or so. Sometimes their "additives" they put in the pills in addition to the actual medicine is different than another mfg uses.

My new entryway table arrived today. Quick and easy for dh to screw on the legs. It was packaged really nicely and the hardware came in this nice zippered bag. Now, of course, I have to figure out what to get to put on/above it! I like it. Looks rustic and also has a drawer in the middle that pulls out. I also just remember I have a $22 Wayfair credit to use up, so I will find something to set on this table.

Seems like that light switch is in a stupid place. Should have been over to one side or the other. That other plate, I think is for when we get our gate installed and can open/close it from there.

My dh likes Eggnog (not for alcoholic drink) so I always buy a 1/2 gallon every Christmas time. I have never liked it. I always give it a little try every year, thinking maybe my tastes have changed, but nope. Still don't like it. I looked at the ingredients. Milk, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc - what's not to like?! LOL. So, I tried it with about a 1/3 eggnog and 2/3 of the whole organic milk I like and YUM! My new favorite drink, haha.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Weekend update

Yesterday was our trip to pick up my grocery order. I would have MUCH preferred to drive myself and be by myself. It's been awhile since dh was with me, due to Covid and due to I'm usually visiting my mom, too and taking care of that stuff, so I've been going by myself. As usual he talks and complains the whole drive there (about anything and everything). Then once we get to town, of course has no patience with other drivers and shoppers. First stop was the bank ATM machine in their drive through. They have 3 lanes and all were open (I didn't even realize they are open Saturdays) but one dumb person, who needed to use the teller was in the ATM lane (there is both in that lane), rather than pulling into one of the other 2 open teller lanes, so us and the car in front of us had to wait and wait to use the ATM.

Next stop was a grocery store to find a turkey. He had to go to the bathroom. I told him just to go back out to the car and wait when he was done. No sense in being in the store around potential virus carriers any longer than possible. Of course he didn't listen to me. He likes to get the garbage man and delivery guys a Christmas gift. I think last couple of years I did chocolate, but this year thought something like meat/cheese box would be nicer. The store didn't have those (I asked). So then we had to drive across the street to Target. As like 2 weeks ago there was a small line to get inside, as they are only letting in a certain number. As he's pulling up where the line is, I say just let me out here, so I can get in line (the line was moving quickly) and he says " what line? there's no line" then he drives around to find a parking spot, of which there are none and then he's driving by the line to get in again and now of course the line is down to the corner of the store. "oh, there's a line". Yep. I got in, ran back to the far corner where all the Christmas stuff is and grabbed 4 boxes of sausage/cheese type gift.

Then we went and picked up our Walmart order, which was pretty quick, not a very long wait, so that was good. On our way out of the city we stopped at Wendy's for burgers and fries, which sure tasted good. Of course my stomach isn't used to that crap anymore, so three hours later I had a stomach ache the rest of the evening. I didn't even have dinner and dh just ended up having a bowl of cereal, LOL.

I feel like I didn't get anything done yesterday, though I vacuumed downstairs and made a trip to get groceries (which took 3 hours). I feel like I have so much to do still to get ready for Christmas and all of a sudden not feeling like it. No bah humbugs allowed! I need to get all my dds/sil's gifts wrapped and in a big box to ship over to them.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Seating and chats

Finally! My loveseat I ordered back at the beginning of November has shipped. It's on the scenic route to get here, apparently, as it's estimated to deliver between the 22nd and 31st. I am so ready to get that piece of furniture added up in my loft sitting area. I'm probably at some point soon going to order a little side table to go next to the chair and a table lamp to stand behind the chair and a throw blanket for the loveseat. I'm still contemplating putting "cow" print pillow covers on the throw pillows, but going to wait and see how I feel once the loveseat is here.

I got a Facebook message from my cousin yesterday, asking for my address. We chatted a little bit. She moved to the east coast about a year ago, to be near her hubby's parents, so big change for her and her hubby, too. They retired early. She's a year younger than me, so not really sure what she does with her time now, but glad she's enjoying it. I honestly think I might be a bit bored to be retired already, so I guess it's a good thing I love my job and don't mind to keep working quite a while longer.

I totally lost (or was it gained?) and hour yesterday afternoon! Oh my. When I am logged into my work desktop it's an hour earlier than where I live. Sometimes I have my home desktop open on one monitor and work on the other (though usually work is on both). Somehow I looked at my personal time on the corner of my monitor and thought it was my work time and thought it was quitting time, so I logged out, went downstairs, fed the dogs, cleaned some dishes up. DH was on the phone with a friend, so I didn't start dinner. I sat down in the recliner for a bit and was looking at my phone and it says 4:20....what?! LOL. Ooops. Oh well.  

We got a little bit of snow last night, so now of course dh thinks he has to drive me to the city later this morning to pick up my grocery order. I had hoped to have a bit of time to at least stop at Ross or Michaels to browse for a little bit (still looking for house decor I might like) but he's not going to want to sit in the car waiting on me, so bah! Plus, he's been craving a cheeseburger and fries from McD's or Wendys, which he hasn't had in months, so that's what we will drive thru and get for lunch. I will have to stop at another grocery store Walmart didn't have any frozen turkeys. Well, they had a Jenni-O brand, but the weights said between 16 and 39 pounds.......and since they pick out what's in your order, my luck I'd end up with a 39# turkey I don't want! I don't even want 16 pounds. I'd prefer about 12 or 13, so hopefully Albertson's has some. Last time I was in there, it was so busy and crowded. I'm not looking forward to having to go in again.

Our new Christmas lights arrived the other day and dh got put up. He's always wanted lights that looked super straight, LOL. Of course now he wants more and of course they are out of stock. I will try to add more during the year for next year.

DH got on the phone with an old friend yesterday......for 7 1/2 HOURS! Seriously! LOL. They talk about once a year or so. I said if you guys talked more often you wouldn't need to spend a whole day to catch up! I don't even want to spend 7 1/2 minutes talking on the phone. I can't imagine hours and hours. He needs to get out more, LOL. This guy is one of his ex-employees. DH was always good about being friends with his employees....which wasn't really good for his business. But, even though it's been 15 years since he had employees, he still has 2 of them who he is good friends with and kept in touch.

Friday, December 11, 2020


DH doesn't hunt, but he knows enough about the rules of it, that he knows people shouldn't be dumping their carcasses on the dirt road across the street from us! (it's illegal to dump them anywhere). Spent all day with the ravens and whatnot circling over and squawking about it. DH went over there and sure enough people drive back on that dirt road a bit and are dumping stuff. Not to mention dh said the elk still had fresh meat on it that wasn't completely harvested. Let's see...hunting season ended like 11 days ago....obviously this animal was killed after hunting season, not to mention dumped illegally, along with some others. Geez - at least go back up in the road a half a mile or a mile and dump it where it's not right across the road from houses. We don't need the rats and vermin that attracts on our properties.

The fish and game guy called dh back and it sounds like they will come out today to check it out. DH had taken a picture of it and showed me. Ugh - what a mess, basically the guy had some stuff in a box and even dumped the box with it all. Meat still on rib cages, the hide, the box. The fish and game guy said they may put up a camera and even a decoy, as dh said as soon as it gets dark vehicles are driving back in there....(hunting season is over). He asked dh if he moved or looked at the box at all and dh said no. The guy said often times the people are dumb and their shipping label with their address is still on the box, LOL. Or he said some are even dumb enough to leave their tag on the animal.

Around noon I go out and give my chickens some scratch. I have to be fast to dump it out of the little cup I use or they are in the way and it lands on top of them. LOL. I was trying to find spot to pour it but I wasn't fast enough and one of them jumped up and grabbed a hold of my ring on my finger. haha. I'm like HEY! 

Well, speaking of chickens, it's my morning time to go say hello to them and give them their bread treat (ie. $.88 cent bread loaves from Walmart now stock up my freezer) they love.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Telescope update

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Supposedly I was able to order a telescope that will be here before Christmas.  I was looking online at Celestron's website and apparently they sell some directly and not through dealers. It showed they had one of the ones I was interested in, in stock, and said shipping time is typically 3-7 days. But, when putting the item in my cart there wasn't anything that gave info on when it would actually ship or "expected" dates. I tried to call the phone number, but all that was apparently like a 3rd party shipper or something. She tried to transfer me to Celestron's customer service but all I got was a a recording about tech support. 

Yesterday I had put it in my cart and my email address, but didn't pull the trigger because of the above concerns. This morning I got an email from them "come back and complete your order". So, I tried replying to the email, asking if I could verify this is in stock now and would ship out to arrive before Christmas. I really wasn't expecting a quick reply as usually those types of emails don't get answered fora  day or two, but I got a reply right back, that yes, it is in stock and would ship out right away once they get the order, so should arrive in time. 

So, it's ordered! I also took commenter Rae's advice and purchased a stargazing book online from Amazon that at least I can give that to him, along with a note about the telescope, should it not arrive in time.

And both yesterday and today, each time I was online looking to find a telescope I could hear one of the bald eagles out on the river. Then right as I hit submit for the order, the eagle was really chattering. It must be a sign, LOL.

The impossible gift

Darn. I finally figured out what I want to get DH for Christmas and it appears absolutely no one has any in stock to arrive before Christmas! What could be that much in demand you ask?! A telescope! For Pete's sake, you would think I could find something. There are a lot of them to choose from. Every website/store, of every brand, in my price range, is out of stock or will have in stock soon, but not before Christmas. Not a single one. I narrowed it down to several brands/models and none are available. 

I had originally been looking at binoculars, but then yesterday morning had the idea a telescope would be better. DH likes to look at the stars and a refractor type telescope can look at the sky and look at objects on earth (ie wildlife and birds). We have a window in our living room we can stand at a certain spot with our crappy binoculars and see the bald eagles nest on the other side of the river. It would be nice to be able to look through a telescope, that isn't jiggling as you try to zoom in, like with binoculars, LOL. Plus, then he could take it outside to look at the sky when he wants. Well, I'm bummed.

DD and her dh won't be coming for Christmas. Their state restrictions were extended (as expected would happen) until January and while she works from home, her dh doesn't and so he can't quarantine for 2 weeks after returning from out of state.

DH is getting low on the deodorant he likes and I have trouble finding it at Target or Walmart so have been getting it from Walgreens or Riteaid. I decided to do an online order with RiteAid for 4 of them. Shipping is free with $35 order. I added a few other things we use and then that Honey app I put back on my computer found a $6 off coupon code. Nice :).  I had had Honey app added for awhile a year or two ago but it never seemed to find anything, so I deleted it. Well, it's now offered as part of PayPal or something, so I tried again and have had much better luck with it finding me some coupons.

Thankfully the weather still seems to be cooperating for me to get into the city on Saturday for more groceries. My fridge seems empty and it hasn't even been 2 weeks since I last shopped! For several days I everytime I opened the door there was this faint odor. It reminded me of shrimp past it's date. I had had some shrimp in there for a 2-3 days at Thanksgiving. One of those trays with all the shrimp placed around a cup of dipping sauce. I had stored in on a regular plate in the fridge so no juice would leak out. I had done the same when my turkey was thawing. I threw a few things out that were getting old, but not too old. Still smelled. I wiped the shelves down. Still smelled. I wiped down again, with vinegar/water spray. Still could smell it. Finally determined yesterday it was the "mini cucumbers" that were in the crisper, in a ziploc type bag with holes. I've never bought these kind before. I threw them out and smell is gone. Won't be buying again, LOL. I can't believe dh didn't say something. He can smell the tiniest smells ever. So, after all that cleaning and throwing a few things out, just in case it was that, my fridge is pretty empty looking.

I have things that need to get out to the mailbox this morning, so I'm headed back downstairs to put some long underwear on and take the walk down to the mailboxes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020


Well, I tried to leave a review on Kohl's website for the Shark vacuum I bought. A good review, too! I figured the reviews helped me decide on it, and I'd return the favor. I got an email back from Kohl's that my review doesn't meet their guidelines and will not be published. Geez...what did I say? I read the guidelines, but can't see anything I violated. Then I thought maybe it's because I mentioned my Dyson in comparison, but I went back and read a bunch of other reviews and many mention Dyson or other brands in comparison. 

I copied the review to DD to show her, LOL.

Love it! I've waited to use my new Shark vacuum several times before I wrote a review. I purchased this for the sole reason of the self cleaning brushroll as I have a big black dog with super long fur. With my Dyson I had to stop after each room and cut off all the fur/hair wrapped around the brush. This Shark works amazing! There is none, to very little hair wrapped on it. It's also very lightweight, which is much easier for me to push and carry up and down stairs. The canister is a good size and snaps in and out easily and the dirt in the bin just falls right out when emptying. With my Dyson (that cost twice as much) I had to pull the dirt and hair out of the canister each time as it would stay stuck between the outside of the canister and the cylinder inside. For about the first time ever, I actually don't mind vacuuming now.

She says "oh, I see what the problem is". I'm like ?? what? She said it's probably considered racist - you mentioned a black dog..........God, in this whacko world it wouldn't surprise me one bit if that's what flagged it from getting published. Whatever! LOL.

Finally! My mom's social security deposited this morning to her new checking account. I wrote a check from her old account to clear out that balance.  Now that we are set up with her rent being on EFT payments starting next month, I think the money management should get a little bit easier (for me!).

DH put up the little wall heater I ordered (same as we put in chicken coop) inside his small garden shed. We checked our electric bill for last month (with the coop heater going most of the time) and it didn't go up too much. And it's really for just a few months out of the year, so it's manageable money wise for a few extra dollars.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Tuesday this and that

A bit of a mystery this morning. I logged into my mom's email this morning, as always, to make sure there's not spam (thankfully, it's been very minimal lately). There's an email from Verizon confirming her change back to paper/mail billing. What? Seriously, there is no way she would know how to log into the account and change it. It took me a bit to figure out how to navigate through the menu to change it back to paperless. I can't imagine she changed it online. She only knows how to go to the websites I already put in her favorites and Verizon isn't one of them. She doesn't know anymore how to type in an website address or search for a website. (she barely understood how when she had a memory, LOL)

I had changed it to paperless some time ago, before she even moved over here, I think. She has the billing on auto pay and there's no reason for her to get a statement for $31.74 each month. She just piles them up because she can't remember what to do with them or thinks she needs to keep them. Very strange it got changed. I logged back in and changed it back and also changed the contact email to mine instead of hers. I guess I should also change the password, just in case someone got in her account, but if they did what would be the purpose of changing the billing to paper bills? Beats me. I can't ask her if she is the one who changed it - she wouldn't remember if she did.

My neighbor down the street and her little son stopped by last evening to drop off some Christmas goodies she made. 8 1/2 months pregnant and she has the energy to make stuff, LOL. I gave her some eggs and told her my Christmas "goody" isn't ready yet. It's my homemade vanilla......I don't think it's going to turn out! It's been almost 4 months it's been "baking" and when I open the bottles it still smells like vodka. I just ordered another set of vanilla beans to try to add to the bottles. I probably needed more than I originally put in. The extra beans should be here in a few days. I'll add and I guess when I give to them in a week or so, I'll tell them to maybe wait a few more weeks. Have any of you made this before? I've read it takes at least 6 weeks, but I would think 4 months is long enough! I also read a couple of people's how to blog posts about doing it and some said use cheap vodka, is fine. But a friend I have on Facebook just made some (I guess she's made before) and said best to use good vodka. Hmpf.

I asked neighbor what her due date is and she said Christmas Day. I said, Oh! you literally meant Christmas when you said you were due around Christmas haha! She said she is really hoping baby comes before.

My other neighbor texted me back after I commented on her cute mailbox decor. She said other than the mailboxes, the outside of their house looks like Scrooge. I said lights are a lot of work - I don't blame them. She said her dh always hated Christmas lights as a kid, so they never get to put them up. Wonder why he hates them, LOL. I didn't ask.

The temperature is staying cold and the past couple of days we are starting to now see the river getting ice chunks. No snow yet, though. Earlier the forecast was showing snow for this coming weekend, but now it's been pushed out to next Monday. That's good as I was kind of hoping to get a trip into the city on Saturday to see my mom and stock up on some more groceries.



Monday, December 7, 2020

Movie watching

I watched a couple of movies on Prime Saturday afternoon and evening. One called The Secret. A friend recommended it. It's sorta based on the Rhonda Byrne book from mid 2000's, which I had listened to on audio book probably 3 times years ago while commuting to work and read once, haha. I do think that what you think about is what you get/end up with. I would never have moved or have this beautiful home if I hadn't changed my way of thinking. 

I spent a LOT of years just pretty much in survival mode, living paycheck to paycheck, or taking on debt just to get by. A LOT of years just stuck in a deep rut. And too busy with everything - work, school, then kids, work, racing with the kids, dh's business (which was always a struggle), etc. I remember when Pinterest first became popular and I was checking it out to see what the hype was all about. I was like this is dumb to even look at. I'll never have or do these nice things. I live in this falling apart double wide with a crappy yard. Then I was going through bankruptcy, which took over a year of my life to complete. No sense in "dreaming" about or pinning those nice things I like on Pinterest.

Then finally, life started to slow down a bit and I had a good paying job (best decision I ever made was to take this job) and got the side job. Though dh couldn't work, he did now have time to fix up our yard of weeds and overgrown lawn and over a 2-3 years we fixed it up really nice with landscaping and hard work. We had the outside repainted in new colors. We did a couple of projects inside the old house. Replaced kitchen and laundry flooring. Redid both bathrooms (though we hired the cousin of a friend for that). I had joined Pinterest and as I pinned things I realized I could start dreaming and actually have goals for me, again.

This was our double wide when we sold it.

Once I started thinking about things I wanted or wanted to do, I realized that was the start to actually getting them. When we decided to move to Montana that was all we knew of our plan to start, LOL. But, idea and plans led to the next ideas and plans and we just kept going with it. First we had to decide where to live, try to figure out how to get a decent job there. At the time we were thinking it would probably be best to find the job first and me move there until we could then sell and find a place there. But, after I told my boss we were moving, that changed into me keeping my job! That changed EVERY THING. 

My inlaws were a couple that just about always expected the worse. "We're doomed" I used to say, to describe them. Obviously it rubbed off on dh and me in our lives, especially in the early years. When you are always around negativity that's what your life becomes. I remember, before I had kids, I had a boss I really liked. He was easy going, funny, with kind of a sarcastic sense of humor (me too). But, he got transferred to a different position and I got a new boss. This guy was HAPPY and energetic. A very positive person. After being around him it made me realize how negative my old boss really was and I just hadn't realized it. I went from just doing my job every day to actually started enjoying being at work.

I'm not some new age guru. But, I do believe in the power of positive thinking and I would probably benefit even more from it, if I did it even more often. DH isn't one of those types of peoples, he's a lot like his parents, so it does take work on my part to remain positive a lot of the time and not get back into that rut way of thinking.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Ironing and cash back rewards

What a job it was ironing that shower curtain. I've never ironed pleats on something that large before and wasn't quite sure how to even do it, but I figured it out. It still probably took me a good half hour to do. I hate ironing. LOL. My mom must have hated it, too, because when I was a kid she used to pay me $2 to iron all my dad's dress shirts each week. I got pretty good at it, but still hate ironing. These days, if I wear something that needs ironing I spray it with Downy wrinkle release and call it good.

And then I got it up and decided I should probably just wash it. It's kind of stiff feeling and hopefully washing will soften it up a bit to hang nicer. But then I probably have to iron it all again......

I've been looking for a narrow console table to go at my entryway for quite awhile now. Of course I wasn't finding anything I liked for the amount I wanted to pay. Everything in that price range was manufactured wood. I finally found something I adding my original price range and the dollar amount I was going to splurge on myself. I found it on Wayfair, for $257. If I got a Wayfair credit card I would get $40 off a $250 purchase plus 10% Wayfair rewards back towards another purchase. So I did that and got it for $217 and will get back $21.70 in rewards.

I think it will go good with my lodge/rustic decor.  Now I just can't decide which side of the entryway to put it at? The side the door opens or the other side?  We have the door in the middle with a sidelight on each side of the door and a little bit of wall space on each side and then the walls on each side come in perpendicular about 4 ft. Then I need something over it..a mirror? a picture? Then what do I put on the other side wall? It takes me forever (and the budget) to decide things.

I also like that box in the picture and the floor lamp in the background, haha. I'm always seeing the staged stuff in Wayfair pictures and wanting that, but can never find. I've been trying to find a similar floor lamp since I ordered the loveseat and not having any luck....or what I do find is way out of my budget.

As I was online shopping my cash back app always pops up with the cash back being offered and it also shows my current balance of cash back owed to me. It said like $141! I was like WHAT?! I got into my account and apparently when I had to order that Lifelock service for my mom a couple weeks ago it gave me cash back. I was so focused on just getting her set up with that quickly, that I didn't even notice the cash back pop up. The cash back for that $197 purchase is showing at $138! That can't be right. I looked up the offer and it says 30%, but I suppose it could have been a different offer a couple of weeks ago. But 70%?! I'm thinking they've got their % swapped. Guess I'll see if I end up getting it. They only send out payments quarterly and my next check isn't until February. If it's wrong, I still will get $59 (30%), so that's good, too.

I also received another letter from the credit card I closed and it says if my account has a zero balance the $49 deposit will be returned in 2 billing cycles, so I'll just be waiting on that refund.

When I went to get the mail yesterday afternoon I see my neighbor has decorated our 3 mailboxes for Christmas. I totally forgot she does that! It's so cute. This year she wrapped ribbon around the posts and then on the back of the mailboxes put a felt stocking on each one. I sent her a text that they are cute and thank you.