Saturday, February 29, 2020

Baby chicks and real estate chat

My last 2 weeks doing MTurks has been fair, earnings wise. I did $68 the week before and this week just ending I'm at $45 with 15 more pending payment, so probably at $60 or so, this week too. I didn't find much yesterday, but at least this morning I am at $5.40, which isn't bad for a weekend and have found all the hits in the 45 minutes I've been sitting here doing other stuff on my computer.

My friend, former neighbor in town, texted me last night. She's got like 24 baby chicks and sent a video. I joked I'll take 3, LOL. She actually has extras, said come and get them. I said no, not ready yet. DH has to get the chicken coop/shed done first. She's got like 10 for herself and 12 for her mom to take. But, just for fun I'm going over to see her tomorrow, so I can see the chicks and visit with her.

There is this place for sale in our area. I'm pretty sure it's been for sale since we first started looking over here in 2016. It's a big home and shop and sits on about 5 acres. From the outside it has never looked like much or very impressive. No landscaping at all, overgrown a bit. It's been off and on the market, with different realtors, this whole time and I wanted to say I thought it was $500k asking price range. A year or so ago I came across it again and looked at the pictures. It's way nicer inside than it looks from the outside, so I remember commenting to DH that I'm surprised it hasn't sold in all this time. Now, it's with another realtor - they;re trying to market it with fancy listing and actually increased the listing price from $499,000 to $799,000! Ok, sure - that'll work, haha! One of my facebook friends shared the new listing and another lady, who actually lives right over by this home commented "$799k - have they lost their minds?". No kidding. If you haven't sold it in over 3 years going from like $600k down to $499k, you sure aren't going to get $799k.

Well, better get started with my day. MTurks seems to have slowed down adding any new hits, so I'm getting off the computer. I think I'll go make that tapioca pudding I was thinking about yesterday.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Friday Yay

Will today be the day my mom finally doesn't ask me about her tax forms?? ?? ??
I haven't called her yet as I don't think she even gets up until like 9:30 or 10 and seems to take her a good hour or so to "wake up" and want to chat on the phone, so lately I've just been waiting until after lunch to call her.

Later.....I called her about 11:30 and she thought there was something she wanted to ask me about but couldn't remember (and I thought oh here we go again....) She kind of went through some of her papers on her desk and apparently the tax forms are still not filed but she did write "done" on them, so she knew now that it was taken care of. I did remind her it's the end of the month and her rent will be due in a couple of days.

It's my half day and after I was done working I tried to set up the new computer. I don't know how. They've got it set up with a user name and password and nothing I tried works. Then I tried "other user" and that, with my work password I was able to get into a desktop that had a few work things - outlook and teams. I tried to load Firefox, but it wanted admin user name and password, so I couldn't get past that again. Finally, I just unplugged it all and hooked up my old one to use for the weekend. I shot off an email to our IT to find out what time the tech guy will be available on Monday morning to get me going.

I tried to get vpn'd into work, but again, I don't know the settings, so I will have to wait until Monday.  I was hoping I could get a lot of it figured out by myself, or at least get a few of my personal things loaded. I did finally get it to load Firefox and I had copied my profile from my old computer for Firefox but when I tried to open Firefox with that profile I got an error message and can't even open Firefox at all now. I tried to uninstall Firefox, so I could start over but it won't let me uninstall without that admin user name and password. On well. I guess that's what I'll end up doing half of Monday morning now.

I do like the new keyboard a bit better. It's much quieter to type but I keep missing the "m" key when I got to type it. I think because the keys are more low profile than my other keyboard.

Since I'm done messing with computers, I guess I'll go dust mop the floor downstairs. Maybe I'll make some tapioca pudding. I have almost a gallon of milk to use up in the next few days before it starts going bad and making that uses up almost 3 cups of milk.

It's a blue sky day and almost 60 degrees. Spring is trying to get here, which is nice, though I'm sure we'll still see some more winter days.

Well, the IT just replied back that they have me scheduled for 8:30 Monday morning, which is 9:30 my time. Ugh. I usually start work 2 hours earlier than that. I guess I'll just work for an hour and a half with my old computer hooked up, then get the new one hooked back up and wait for his call at 8:30.

Not much planned this weekend. DH is still grumpy and unfortunately, I don't have all the extra money for him to start on the shed/chicken coop until next payday and the guy helping him isn't available for another weekend or two anyway. I know it would help get his mind out of the dumps if he could get busy doing something again.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Computer and groudhog day

My new computer from work arrived. I've decided to wait until either Friday afternoon (I only work half day) or Saturday to hook it all up. I don't need anymore downtime with work! and I'm sure there will be some issue, most likely with getting the vpn set up, which I'm sure they didn't put on there for me, even though I mentioned that is all I really need on it, a couple of times. It's a Dell, as my current one, but the tower is less than half the size of the one I have.

I also want to figure out how to transfer my personal (since I will also use it for my personal computer) Firefox saved settings to it. I know there is a way, I just don't remember how off the top of my head. I will also need to transfer my documents and pictures I have on my current computer, so I have them on the new one. I may, for awhile, just leave my current computer on my desk and if I need/want to use it, I can then just switch over the monitors to it. Not ideal, but at least it still works and I'll be able to get everything off of it (hopefully it doesn't die before I get that done).

The IRS audit for work is going fairly well. Nothing real major has come up, though I'm sure he'll find a few things to write up about. He had mentioned before he might need to also come back tomorrow, but after yesterday he told my boss he didn't need to. He's looked at all the documents he needs to feel prepared to finish this up. She said he seems impressed with our organization and processes. When we were in our phone/online meetin yesterday I was sharing my screen, while he was asking to look at specific transactions in our accounting software. He didn't realize you could attach documents to the transactions in this software and thought that was really neat. I said ya, that was a life changer for us, being able to do that. I attach everything related to a transaction - copy of bills, PO's etc. I can even attach emails, which is really helpful in giving more detail. And it's so quick and easy to get that detail for a transaction. In the old, file cabinet days, it would have taken half the day to go back and try to find the backup documentation he was asking for (especially since it's 3 years old and would have been stored in boxes by now). I had it in front of him in seconds. He was like "wow, I didn't know it had that feature!".

Dealing with my mom and her tax 1099 forms is like groundhog day every day this week! Eeek!. I can't seem to get her to remember that she's given me all the info now. I keep saying it's ok to just file those away now. But, she keeps leaving them on her desk and then can't remember it's all taken care of. She had written a note to "ask" me on her retirement account tax documents. I keep reminding her, yes, we've already taken care of it. Last night I told her to now write "FILE" on it and put it in her file drawer. She said ok, but I'm sure she just set it down, thinking she'll remember to do it later.

Also, apparently two of my stepbrothers and one of their wives went and visited and had lunch with her yesterday. She never mentioned that they were coming, so it wouldn't surprise me she forgot, or at least forgot while we were talking each day. She called me right in between my work meeting calls, so when I answered I just said "hi, can I call you back in a little bit?" She said sure. When I tried back she didn't answer, so I figured she must have went down for lunch and couldn't hear her phone. Then she did call me back after she got to her apartment and said "oh, I just got back from eating lunch with "the kids", they came to see me. I'm like who? She meant her step kids. She said she didn't remember now why she called me earlier, but I kind of got the impression maybe they were still there with her so I said ok, well if you think of it just call me back. She called me after dinner but said she still couldn't remember why she called - she thought maybe the steps had a question about her moving or something so she called to ask me. But, you think if they were still there when she called me back after lunch, they would have reminded her what to ask me about. Who knows now. Then she went back into the tax forms questions.....

And she just called me again ask about her tax forms on her desk....Again I told her she gave me the info on them, I'm good and to just file them in her file cabinet now.......and I just reminded her again that it will be a week or so before I get to doing her tax return, but we have lots of time still left before April 15th. Fifteen minutes later she calls me back to ask "now, have you sent my tax return for me to sign yet?" I said no...I haven't done it yet, but you won't need to sign anything since I send it in electronically". I don't know how I'm going to get her to just put those papers in her filing cabinet so that she gets them off her mind!

Wrong side of the bed

I don't know what crawled up DH's butt during the night, but he was a total crab yesterday. First off, after he got up in the morning and was sitting at his computer in his den I came downstairs and let him know I was going to be on a phone meeting call for awhile starting at around 10am. He had a bad reaction to that. Really?!  Geez Louise.

Then about 11am I hear the dogs barking. Figured it was UPS or FedEx. I had my office door shut, because I was expecting the phone call from my boss at any minute for the meeting with the auditor, so I couldn't go downstairs and I figured DH was downstairs, so he'd handle whatever it was. I guess he had gone back to bed. Heard the doorbell ring (like UPS or FedEx does when they drop something off at the door) but he didn't go answer it. Well, it was the computer from work, but it was shipped needing a signature, so the driver didn't leave it, just a door tag on the door. DH brings it up to me (I'm still waiting for my boss to call to start the meeting) throwing a fit that he didn't leave it at the door. I explained that apparently our IT company shipped it requiring a signature, nothing I can do about it. FedEx will try to re-deliver it tomorrow. Then he's complaining that I didn't come down and answer the door. Then 15 minutes later he's back up in my office throwing a fit that every time FedEx comes (not very often, it's almost always UPS) they make a mess in the gravel driveway because for some reason the guy can't just pull through the circular drive. He's gotta turn his wheels hard, back up and make a mess digging into the gravel (now soft due to warm weather and snow melted) and throwing a fit that deliveries are coming almost every day. Well, ya....I order most of our needs online, rather than making the trips into the city 45 miles away.

I can't control that I place an order for say 5 things on our list of needs, one week, and they deliver it all in separate boxes on 3 different days. Then about 2 hours later another FedEx delivery shows up delivering one item from a Walmart order. Couldn't they have put both my deliveries yesterday on the same delivery van? I get that he's tired of delivery trucks pulling in here all the time. The UPS guy is now like 7pm each night, which is kind of annoying. It started that way during the Christmas season, they started having a guy that actually delivered out of a rented pickup truck. (weird). Well, he's still delivering out of it and still delivering at 7pm, 2 months past Christmas season.

So, I will just try to use the Amazon delivery option of a specific delivery day of the week and I guess make more trips to the city (which will make him complain, of course, if I start doing that). Can't win with the guy. I always say to myself it must be exhausting living in his brain. Everything has got to be just so and done just so. Everything people say or do he's gotta analyze over and over (when 99% of the time it has nothing to even do with him, but he takes everything personally). Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me that that is what brought on all his health issues all those years ago - just the stress of living inside his head. It's gotta wear a body out! It wears me out! I can see how having a mind like that could lead to chronic pain.

Obviously moving here to have a more relaxing life hasn't helped him much the past few years. He will always find something to complain about. I doubt he will ever get out of his loop of over thinking every little thing and needing something to complain about (he takes after his mother). He will often say to me (after he calms down) "I shouldn't be complaining, I have nothing to complain about living here".  He doesn't seem to see the correlation between being upset/angry/mad and then feeling worse than he usually does. When I look back to when his health issues started (with real physical symptoms) he was self employed and totally on edge 110% of the time. Always. For years and years. I think it wrecked havoc with his nervous system/immune system or something.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Wacky Wednesday

After almost 7 months I finally had a payroll that went pretty quick and smooth. It's a Christmas miracle! There was one little "glitch" where an employee who was terminated on 2/14 (last day of the previous payroll) was showing up to pay him for last week. I had no idea why. He quit, so he wasn't getting severance pay. I couldn't get a hold of my boss to double check we weren't supposed to pay him. I sent an email to our payroll tech to see if she knew anything about it. Then my boss messaged me and I was able to just go ahead and delete the hours, create the payroll batch and submit it. Like it only took 15 minutes or so and for once got done before noon.

Yesterday DH was texting with his older brother (still) and something came up where dh said send me a video of it. Brother had NO idea how to take a video with his phone.  We have iphones but bro has a Samsung so DH looked it up and told him how to do it - then his wife was apparently trying to figure it out and was videoing and sent it in the text and they didn't realize it. It was pretty funny.  Then he said something about he'll have to figure it out later, he's "almost out of wi-fi". Well, dh thinks he was referring to his phone data. Then it was determined they don't have their phone (I think they share one) on wi-fi when they are at home. DH was trying to tell him how to do it.....I was like "oh good grief! YOU trying to help someone with tech stuff?!!! That's like the blind leading the blind.".

On tap with work today is the IRS auditor is back at the office later this morning to go over document requests/questions he has, so I guess I will be in on a phone meeting for a couple of hours. This morning I am dealing with our most annoying salesperson, who needs to order something for one of her customers (basically for their personal or office use), but rather than just type out the items she needs to order, the cost from our mfg, the price she charging her customer, ship to address, etc. She just forwards this email chain 20 emails long and I'm supposed to figure it all out from going back and reading 20 emails. And ALL requests for orders are supposed to cc my boss, which she did not, so I replied back to her with all my questions, cc'ing my boss. I'm not this salesperson's personal assistant, LOL. Send me the order request with all the info, like everyone else does. She emails back that the ship to address is on the quote she attached. Nope, it's not. She also said our cost from mfg is 25% less than book......then my boss emailed, Nope. Not how it's done, LOL. Here goes another 20 emails....

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

No wonder my hair is white

I've always done my mom's tax return since my dad passed on. It's a pretty easy one. She has her SS income, a little interest from her credit union savings and then she has her income from taking a draw on her retirement money. The past few years she has just taken copies of her 1099's and mailed them to me. I knew it was going to be a bit more challenging this year with her memory. She probably doesn't even really remember how to use her copier/printer anymore. But, I figured I could get her (several pages) tax document from her retirement/investment account online and I was. I was having a hard time getting her to find her SS and CU 1099's...that she would have received pretty recently. Finally, I took pictures of the ones I had from last year and she called me back and had found them. I don't think she had even opened them yet but then she saw on the outside envelope part "important tax documents". I just had her read off to me what was in the boxes for interest and income. I already have the payer addresses and TIN#'s from the prior years copies. It will probably take me about 15 minutes to do her tax return - it took me an hour to get her form info from her. I told her than to put them in a file folder and file them and once she gets moved over here we can put her tax return with it. I'll go over it all again when I can see her forms with my own eyes. Worse comes to worse, I'll just have to file an amended return if she didn't give me the correct info.

I also need to find out if she is on a "auto withdrawal" for her required annual distribution from her retirement account, or if she will need to request it. She doesn't need the money, but of course is required to take out the calculated amount every year, based on her balance and age. She doesn't even realize this anymore, when I mentioned it. She has like $27,000 in her credit union savings account. I have a feeling it's a good thing I know about it, because it probably won't be much longer that she forgets she even has that money there. $25k of it is in a CD, that I think I remember being a 5 year one, but I'll double check all that when I have closer access to her files again.

DH is feeling better (well, as good as he can feel) so I'm sure it was just the 3 days of installing the trim. He's now in the thinking stage of getting our shed/chicken coop built. We have a lot of leftover lumber from the house build and the lumber from the trees we had to cut down. We have a bunch of siding, shakes and roof shingles. Not to mention, getting all that extra building materials out of our garage and shop, will free up much needed space, which will help him start to organize all the other stuff. He will have to buy some lumber and he needs help building it (he realizes this at least, after how he felt doing the shop interior trim work last week). He contacted the guy that did our gutters. He lives in town and likes to do side jobs so he seemed eager to help out. Shouldn't take them more than a few days to at least get the frame up and sided. He still keeps in touch via texting with the nice guy that did our mason work. He lives about an hour north of us and has quite a bit of property and he has chickens. He texted DH they have chicks about ready to hatch...he's saving me three, haha!

What else?.........oh ya, today is payroll day. Yay.... NOT! Let's see if I can finally do a payroll without any problems.

Monday, February 24, 2020


DH hasn't been feeling well since Saturday evening, but worse yesterday and last night. Hard to say what it is with him. I know that for Thursday, Friday and Saturday he basically worked out in his shop for 10 hours per day, pretty much non stop. Used lots of muscles: standing the whole time, bending over (and over), up and down ladder, etc. By evening last night he said his whole body ached the worse it's ever done (but he's said that before). He didn't have a fever. So, I'm thinking he just totally over did it or maybe he's coming down with the flu (he also said his stomach hurt, but it kind of sounded more like the muscles in his stomach and he's eating fine). It's hard to figure out, when he's already in pain all the time anyway, let alone if something happens where he's feeling worse, of course he's dying. He did get to sleep around midnight or so finally, and seemed to sleep pretty well, at least every time I woke up I could tell he was asleep by his breathing (or light snoring). Of course when I asked him this morning if he's feeling any better (twice) he just shrugs, but he always does that. I really don't know what to do for him when he's in that much pain. We only have ibuprofen and tylenol, which he already took. He did take a couple of hot baths to try to relax his muscles.

And as totally expected, now my uncle is trying to back out of helping move my mom over here. In our previous conversations he had said he would do it. He has a friend with a large van or something (and they'd get a uhaul to pull along if necessary). I also had mentioned that DD has a pickup with a canopy and if needed she could haul stuff (and drive Grandma) over too. Well, he calls last night and says "if DD has a truck with a canopy, maybe they can just get the little uhaul trailer to pull along and move her, so that my friend doesn't have to do a 1000 mile round trip in 2 days.". I said sure, we'll figure it out. Rolling eyes. But, I knew he would do this, so no surprise. No reason for him to go out of his way....especially since she gave him her car and is leaving 30% of her wealth to him, LOL. I think what I will do is the weekend we are moving her over here, I'll drive over there on Wednesday. Have Wed afternoon/eve and all day Thursday to finalize her packing. Friday morning DD and her Dh can come with pickup and uhaul. I'm not sure if the 3 of us could load it up by ourselves or if I need to hire some help. But, load up Friday morning and drive over to my house and spend the night here. Then Saturday morning get her moved into her new place and DD/SIL can head home Sunday. Unloading we'd have my DH to help with the heavy stuff. I'm thinking maybe hire some mover labor to get it all downstairs and loaded, probably wouldn't take 2 guys more than an hour for the big stuff, though they probably have a minimum charge, but oh well. The place she lives has one of those hotel baggage type carts we can load boxes on and take downstairs and wheel out to load up the lighter stuff ourselves. Basically would need help with her twin bed, recliner, small antique loveseat, small desk, tv and stand, small 2 person dining table and her dresser. I have a bunch of moving blankets I can bring with me.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

This and that

DH likes to use Febreeze air freshener out in his shop bathroom and I forgot to buy more when I did my grocery shopping order, so I just had to order some online with Walmart. To get free shipping I need to order $35, so I picked a few more items to add to my pantry: canned pears (6 pk) and Jiffy cornbread mix (12 pk). The last 2 dinners we've had my taco soup I was wishing I had some cornbread. I use 2 boxes when I make the cornbread in an 8x8 baking dish. I also ordered some Clorox wipes for his shop bathroom and I realized I'm about out of conditioner. Just a few pennies over the $35 needed for free shipping.

DH got his baseboard trim installed in the shop. Looks nice and was a fairly cheap project, using 1x4 boards from the lumber store and leftover stain we already had.
The weather has been sunny the past few days and yesterday got to over 50, so he's been able to set up his table saw outside on the concrete.

Woodworker friend finished my little step stool. It's so cute and came in handy when I needed to reach something up high in the laundry room yesterday.
I spent most of yesterday cleaning and in between reading another book I was trying to finish before my borrow time is up. I managed to finish it last evening. It was Stephen King's The Outsider and quite a long book. I did have to make a quick run into town as the 9 volt battery went dead on the stud finder and we didn't have any more. But it was nice to get out for a bit and the dogs like going for the ride. Saw a guy coming out of the store I knew and said hello.

When I did my Walmart pick up order I ordered some Folgers coffee - but I got the darker blend then I had been getting. I was going to have that this morning and went to get it off the pantry shelf and saw it was the medium blend. Hmm..did I get the wrong? did I already have this can? (I think I did). Did I not get the coffee in that last order?. I looked back in my order and I did for sure order the darker blend. Then I looked through my pictures I have taken of the pantry with my phone. A picture taken on 2/9 shows that medium blend of coffee on the shelf already, so apparently I already had that can and  I did not get the coffee I paid for last Thursday! I'll have to put in a claim online. I guess I should start making sure everything I order was received. It's pretty impossible when you are picking up to check everything, but I could at least verify once I get home and start putting it all away. I'll go double check the pantry once more for it, but I don't think it's there. UPDATE; went back into the pantry and found the coffee - it got tucked behind the support beam :)

Not sure what we are doing today. I think DH is done out in the shop for now and probably will rest today. It's supposed to start raining this afternoon, turning to snow in the evening. We had some deer out in our driveway last night. One of the dogs spotted them out the front door side windows. It was dark and at first we couldn't see what he was barking at.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Starting the stock up

With the grocery shopping trip out of the way for another 2-3 weeks we have food to eat again. I filled up the pantry pretty good, but still quite a bit of room on the shelves (deep wise) and almost the whole top shelf to use. I added a few things for stocking up. Some more canned veggies, cocoa, and some Bisquick baking mix. I had thought the Bisquick was mix with water, which I thought would be good to have on hand in place of my regular "from scratch" pancake recipe that calls for milk and eggs, in case I was out of them (like a few days ago) but it calls for same. I'll have to see if there is a mix to buy that just needs water added. I'll just use up the Bisquick mix for pancakes now instead of making my scratch ones, if I can find a water only mix to store.

I also added some extra coffee and boxed mac and cheese. I recently switched from having the dog food delivered from to Amazon subscribe and save, kept the last Chewy order at same time I did first Amazon order, so now I have an extra bag (that lasts a month) of dog food on hand, too.

I'm especially liking these little wire baskets hung on the wall for spices and what not
I'm just going to keep trying to add more stockpile each shopping trip. A couple of weeks ago I came across a deal on for 24 Scotch-Brite type sponges for about $10.  Usually they are close to $1 ea, so I am stocked up on those for a good long while.

I also bought a half gallon of Great Value brand strawberry banana smoothie premade to try. I can't find "Simply Smoothies" anymore so wanted to give this a try. YUM! DH loves it too, which means that half gallon I just got is going to last a few days, LOL. It was $3.76 for the half gallon. Buying fruits and yogurt I probably couldn't make smoothies for that price, let alone I don't have the patience to stand there and cut up fruits and make one in a blender every time I want a smoothie.

My new computer being sent from work via our IT group is getting a bit annoying. One of their people called me and took all the pertinent info a week or so ago. She asked me what programs I needed loaded on (none for work, because I actually vpn/remote into another computer at the office that has all I need on it), what monitors I have and what cables, etc. Then Wednesday a different guy from there calls me. They now have the computer and he was getting it loaded with programs for work. I had to explain again that I don't need that. Then he called again yesterday, wanting to know what monitors and monitor cables I have (ok...I already gave all this info), so I looked at the back of my monitors again to get the info. This whole time I'm thinking how long does this take? There is really nothing for them to do on the computer, just make sure the printer cables will work and send it to me. Then the first lady just emailed me asking for my address to ship it to (my boss already gave them the address in her initial email to get me a computer. But, at least they are done with it and finally ready to ship to me.

Well, gotta go put my long undies on and take something out to the mailbox to be mailed, as our mailman comes around 9 or 9:15am on most days.

Friday, February 21, 2020

The tour and afternoon

The visit and tour of the retirement place was really good. Whew! I'm so relieved.  It was a really nice place. She showed me their 2 different 1 bedroom apartments. They aren't as big as what she's in now and it's just a very small kitchenette (she has full kitchen now, that she doesn't use) with a tiny fridge (so that part looks kinda crappy to me), but on the other hand, it's $620 a month less than she's paying now. If she doesn't want to have a little balcony then the bedroom is a little bigger by 50 sq ft. I found some pictures of the one bedroom online, that isn't on their website, so I was just able to email them to my mom, so she could see, too. I wasn't able to see the grounds, as it's still all covered in snow, but the pictures I've seen are nice.

If she chooses the apartment without the balcony she wouldn't have this door and then I think her tv/stand or desk could go in the corner and the other along the wall, similar to what she has now.

But overall, the place was nice. It has a more "homier" feel decor wise in the common areas than the place she is currently in. Her current place is very nice, but has a pretty modern look to the decor. The rent covers everything except her phone and internet. It also covers laundry service (as part of the housekeeping service) for her bed linens. It doesn't have a washer and dryer in the unit, as she does now, but in all my looking here and near where DD lives I did not find any places that offered that. There are a couple of laundry rooms on each floor and free to use. It also includes a free medical alert device system.

The main difference is the meals. Where she is now is more like a restaurant (one big and one small pub like) where there is a menu to order from, that doesn't change, other than if they have like a buffet meal. I still haven't figured out exactly how her current meal plan works, but the menu has prices and the bill is charged to her account. I guess she has so many credits each month, if she went over, then she'd be billed the extra. They can eat their meals whenever they choose to.

At this place all the meals are served at a certain time in the dining room. There is a daily menu and like 4 choices for both lunch and dinner. So, it kind of seems like maybe more variety in food than a set menu. I know the few days I stayed at her current place, both times by the 3rd day I was tired of having to chose from the same menu! She said they make all their rolls and bread fresh every day. In the dining room is also a corner area with kind of a continental breakfast set up, so if they didn't come at 8am for the main breakfast, they could eat from that (cereal, fruits, danish, etc). There is also another little area in the dining room for snacks to eat any time. If they are sick and couldn't make it to a meal, they can call and they will bring a "sick tray" of something that a sick person would eat (broth, jello, toast, etc). Or if they just didn't feel like having their meal there, for $5 they will deliver up the full meal, but of course they encourage eating in the dining room.

Similar in that they have various activities scheduled, but it sounds like they do more to encourage the residents to participate (which she will need!) and also have an overhead speaker system to remind them an activity is coming up soon. They also have a senior assistance service "in house" that you can hire if you need extra help (or you can hire a different outside service) and she says many use it for things like the medication help and it's not very expensive. I think this might be a good way for her to go - be in independent as long as possible (and save money) and transition using the assistance service for as long as she can.

So, other than the apartment being smaller, it's just as nice as where she is. Mom has also downsized a bit more since she got into her current place - she got rid of one of her recliners and a dresser, so I think her stuff will fit in fine at this new place.

The other assisted living facilities are all actually right next door to this place (there are 3) and like this lady explained to me, she would be in independent living to start (if she lived at one of those places) and then when she needs more help/assistance she would have to move to a different part of their facility anyway. So, if she does at some point end up having to move into assisted living/memory care place, it's basically a move next door, so no difference, really.

Our plan is for the end of April, first of May to get her moved over here.

After I was done with the tour I had to pick up my grocery order at Walmart, only Walmart was out of the bread (GRRR!) so I tried Target and they had exactly 4 loaves of it. On my way out I stopped and got a Starbucks white chocolate mocha, using up some of the $9 I have on a Starbucks gift card. Then I got over to Walmart. I never did get the text that said your order is ready and let them know I'm on the way. I had to check in through the app once I got there and then it was like a 10 or 15 minutes wait for my turn (even though it wasn't crowded at all). But she did give me a free mini cherry pie from the bakery. National cherry pie day or something.

After that I did a really quick stop into Ross looking for some small type of basket(s) but no luck. It was a beautiful (but cold) sunny day. Once you get on the freeway there is really no traffic LOL. I love it. I got back home around 4pm and put away lots of groceries.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thursday tasks

In paying the bills for work, I see our UPS weekly bill is about 20 times what it usually is. Yikes. Over $5k in 3rd party charges from one of our mfg's who used our UPS account. Usually I will get a heads up from whoever in our company authorized our UPS to be used (usually to fix a job problem), but I had nothing on this huge charge of numerous shipments - all next day air shipments. I sent a copy to my boss to give her a heads up and see if she knew anything about it. She just emailed back that she just created a %*&% storm with those involved in this. Bottom line is we ended up earning like $50 in commission and paying over $5k in freight. She said there is now a meeting set up with all those involved (in several departments) so in the long run it is going to help their procedures and communications so that something like this doesn't happen again and thanked me for bringing it to her attention - thanked me twice! I always look over bills pretty closely and after so many years of paying the same bills I'm pretty in tune to what is normal and what is not.

I ended up with a decent MTurks day yesterday of $13.37. Mostly thanks to one hit that paid over $5 and took about a half hour.

I am finally taking this afternoon off work and going to visit the retirement living place my mom and I are interested in. I'll do the tour, get all the info, and then I'll stop at Walmart and pick up my grocery order. I just got an email that the bread isn't in stock. GRR! DH is specific in the bread he likes for lunch sandwiches, so now I'll have to stop at other store(s) to try to find. If I have time I want to slip in to Ross (right near the retirement place) and see if they have any small baskets I can use for my pantry - for things like taco seasoning packets, etc.  The weather is sunny, clear and mid 40's (by the afternoon, it's 18 right now) and the roads are clear and dry, so good to myself! LOL. DH always thinks he has to drive me. I know he wanted to work on his base trim in the shop and when I told him about my plans yesterday afternoon he said "oh, I guess I won't be doing my boards then" I said "I can go by myself! The roads are fine and I'm sure you don't want to have to walk around a retirement place". He said oh good. Whew! I really didn't want him to go anyway. I need a break from him, haha. It will be a nice drive and a good break. The only bad part is my boss has today and tomorrow off, but I'll work half the day and then when I get home I'll check for anything urgent that needs to get done (usually just purchase orders) and I'll leave a out of office reply with that info.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wednesday what-not

DH's elbow is getting better each day. It still hurts, but the swelling went way down and it's just bruising, of course. Someone online had him convinced he was going to get an infection and die. DH was like "who knew you could die from it?!" I was like "what did he die from? Me: he hit his elbow.....". Geez. While we realized that is something to keep an eye on if it didn't get better, it wasn't an emergency that he needed to go to ER or the doctor right then. I knew all they would do is tell him to do what I told him to do - ice it and take ibuprofen. If it is/got infected we weren't going to know in the first few hours, I wouldn't think. The swelling went down fairly fast. And for a change, he is being smart and not using it and aggravating it more, so it should heal up faster than his other injuries (like when he blew his knee out).

I was so bummed. An ebook borrowed through the library got snagged back as the borrow time was up. I only had like 40 pages to go to finish it! I was trying so hard to get it done, but I just couldn't read anymore after I read for awhile in bed last night. Now I'll have to wait weeks to get to borrow it again, to finish it. I see that the library is going to start a new procedure for getting ebooks that you are waiting on. You will be able to put yourself back in line by one spot, if you aren't ready to read it yet,  rather than it just automatically being checked out to you. That will help me as sometimes several books I've put on reserve will become available all about the same time and there's no way I can read them all in the time allotted. It's especially frustrating when it's a book I've really been wanting to read and it's been such a long wait that it sucks to have to go back to the end of the line.

Here's my start on filling my pantry containers. I still have 3 left - 2 really small ones and one next size up. Not sure exactly yet what I am putting in those. I do definitely need a couple of cereal ones.  I think I'll move them up a row, so they are more eye level.

As a joke for DH, I labeled the spaghetti noodles one "2021 spaghetti". I put my tapioca in a small one and cut the instructions from the box and put it in my drawer with recipes.

MTurks is much better this week, but I am putting in the effort. Monday was $13 and yesterday was $20.50. I have a feeling today isn't going to be as good. I haven't even found one hit yet after an hour and half.

DH went and got the rest of the lumber boards he needs to finish up the base board trim he wants to do in the shop. He's letting them acclimate for a day or two, which is also good in that he's not using his elbow yet. It was only $100 in lumber, so I don't think that's too bad to trim it out and make it look nice. He's still using up a big 5 gallon can of stain leftover from our house build. I did have to buy him some replacement sanding pads in different grits for his sander. Those were from Amazon, 50 packs of 3 different grits at about $20 each pack.

DD had $200 saved (mostly from selling stuff she didn't need anymore) and then just got her overtime pay, so she now has enough to buy the Dyson vacuum she wants from Costco for $450. She's getting one of the cordless ones, the V11.

That's all I've got for today.

It's supposed to be totally sunny the next few days. So far this morning it's just looking overcast. Even both weather apps on my phone show it's supposed to be sunny right now.

I just got my auto insurance renewal notice. My premium is going down $5 per month. Every time that happens one of my other bills goes up $10 a month, LOL.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The things that make you go hmmmm.....

My pantry storage containers arrived late yesterday. I want to wash them in the dishwasher, so I will do that today. They seem nice, but the tall/biggest ones aren't big enough for cereal, so I will be ordering a couple containers for some cereal storage. One of the tall skinny ones will definitely be good for spaghetti noodles. I'm not quite sure why the set includes a nice scoop. The containers are too narrow to actually scoop down into to get anything out.

DH and I have a running joke between us about spaghetti. He likes the taste of it, but he doesn't like that an hour after he eats it he's totally hungry again. He'd rather just not eat it, but I love spaghetti. So, the joke is he has to eat spaghetti 2 times a year, LOL. I made spaghetti last week and he had leftovers the second night, so he's calling it good for the year.

He made a Facebook post, with a picture of my new pantry containers and a joke that it's a good thing I ordered air tight, so I can store the spaghetti noodles that won't get eaten for another year ;).  His newly reconnected with older brother had to make a comment like $3.99 to store $2 worth of spaghetti....the things that make you go hmmm...

DH was like (just to me) why do people always have to judge what we do and have? He said he knows brother doesn't mean anything malicious by it, but just typical of the way people are, I guess. I said I'll keep my mouth shut......BUT, what I would reply back would be something snarky like "$10 a DAY to suck smoke into your lungs....the things that make you go hmmm..."

I like to spend my money on things that are aesthetically pleasing to me. And I'd like to be able to keep my noodles fresher longer, so that next time (2021! haha) I make spaghetti I don't need to go to the store and buy noodles and throw out the half a bag of what I do have in the pantry.

That's why I don't "do people" LOL. Just give me my dogs, a comfy home and a good book and I'm good.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Sunday Shenanigans

So, DH was out in his shop yesterday, putting the wood trim casings around the remaining windows. Only it's a bit tight to get to the rest of them, as so much stuff on pallets is like a foot from the windows. Anyhow, I guess he had climbed up on the stuff on one of the pallets for some reason and when it was time to get down, rather than carefully climb back down, he basically jumped down to the floor and with everything so close quarters he hit his elbow really hard. Fast forward a couple hours and I'm out in the shop helping him set up the extra tv, so he can listen/watch the Nascar race while he's out there and he's like wow - my elbow is killing me and pulls up his sweatshirt sleeve. Both our eyes popped out! It looked like he had a golf ball underneath the skin on his elbow!

I did some googling on my phone and apparently that is common for a trauma like he did to his elbow. It fills up with fluid. I made him take some ibuprofen and sit with an ice pack in his recliner the rest of the afternoon and evening. From what I read it will probably take a while for it to heal and the swelling to disappear.  Thankfully this morning it looks a lot better. Still swollen some, but more "normal" swelling looking and a bit of a bruise where he hit it. He seemed to sleep pretty well last night, at least. Hopefully it's on the mend and no doctor visit needed. I ordered him an elbow brace from Amazon that will be here on Wednesday. He has one for his knee (that he popped out last year) that helps to wear sometimes, so I'm sure an elbow brace will help, especially since he's not good about listening to me and taking it easy with it for awhile.

And then speaking of a doctor visit, I was making sure I had his health insurance card in my wallet, just in case, which then made me realize that this monthly insurance premium billing was set up to automatically charge to my credit card and that is the card that (for some reason) just got replaced a few weeks ago and I had to update all my bills on it. And I forgot that this one needed to be updated. I called this morning, but of course they won't talk to me, DH has to get on the phone and authorize them to let me update the info. He was still sleeping, so I'll have to call back later.

We got quite a bit of snow over the weekend, only it would warm up to like 40 by afternoon and most of it would melt. It's been in this cycle for days now until yesterday it finally cooled down and snowed in the afternoon, too. We got quite a bit last night and right now it's coming down very prettily.

I made a pan of brownies yesterday. Yum. Dinner was steak and green beans. Starting to get low on food, so a trip for groceries will have to be done this week. The pantry canisters I ordered are supposed to arrive today.

DH is having woodworker friend make me a little stepstool that I can store in the pantry. Mostly I need it for the high kitchen cabinets, but the top shelf in the pantry is a little high, too. Good grief - it was a chore just to explain a simple little footstool. He drew out one he has built in the past that has a handle on the back. I said ok, that will work. Then a half hour discussion ensued about the height of the stool. DH has a plastic step stool that I have used (but stored out in the garage) and it's like 12 or 13" high. I said just that height is fine. I can reach up to the tall shelves with that. He wanted to go on and on about that's a big step up and down (carrying something). I said it's fine. Nothing I have up there is very heavy, let alone most of the cupboards there is the counter below, so I will just set it on the counter first and then step down, empty handed.

Then he got home and proceeded to text DH on and on about it should be a 2 step stool.  I texted back (as DH) and said "she said she wants the one step stool". More texting. Finally I told Dh geez Louise! I'll go back to using the chair I'd usually grab from the dining table and step up on that, LOL! That's what I've done for 30 years, haha. So, yesterday afternoon he brings over 2 he made. One like I wanted and one that has 2 steps. Well, the steps are narrow and small. Would be great for a little toddler trying to reach the sink to wash his hands or brush his teeth. So, I told him I'll go with the one step one. Finally he said ok. He said he has some neighbor friends with 3 year old twins he will give it to for them, haha.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saturday cleaning and working

I didn't do much MTurks at all last week. All my free minutes were devoted to working on my side job as I try to get all their year end accounting done to send to their CPA. I got a bit behind on having time for my side job the past few weeks, with all the extra time I was putting in at my regular job (audit, computer issues, etc). I am hoping to be all caught up with it this weekend. Yesterday was my half Friday on my regular job, so I was able to spend a couple hours on my side job in the afternoon. But by about 3pm my eyes couldn't do anymore computer work. They needed a break.

I had just laid down to rest my eyes/maybe get a little nap, when the dogs started barking because someone pulled in the driveway. DH said it was woodworker friend. Oh great, I really wanted to nap and wasn't in the mood to chit chat and thankfully DH just shut the bedroom door before he let friend in, LOL. I sorta napped, over hearing them talk for an hour. I kept thinking he was going to leave soon and I'd get up after he left. But, he didn't. Finally at 4:15 I came out. Then Dh got to talking to him about future projects he wants him to do for us and there was another hour. I kept saying "this is down the road, nothing that needs to be done right now" because I don't have the money for any of that right now.

We keep getting a few inches of snow overnight, but by afternoon it warms up to like 40 and most of it melts away, like it never happened. Then we wake up the next morning and it's all white again. Feels like groundhog day.

This morning I am just cleaning house. So far I have cleaned the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, dust mopped the hard flooring, cleaned the bathrooms and dusted. DH went and got some more lumber yesterday afternoon. He has some more window casings in the shop to finish, so that is giving him something to do this weekend.  I'm also doing some  more work on my side job. I should be able to finish up tomorrow, I hope.

Our dogs seemed fascinated over on vacant lot #5 (2 lots down) the past couple of days. Figured it was deer poop. Were they rolling in it? No, apparently eating it! Good Lord. So, right at my feet last night older dog pukes up his dinner, along with a bunch of deer poop. So, now I gotta go outside with them to make sure they don't go down there and get into it. Always something.

While writing this out, I had to take a quick break and run into the town lumber store for DH. He needed 2 more 8 foot boards. Luckily he figured out quick enough he needed more because the store is only open until 1pm on Saturday and closed on Sundays. And my handy dandy car can haul an 8 foot board,  haha.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Just a bunch of wondering

DH is still in daily communication mode with his newly reconnected older brother. They've been texting, but now just connected on Facebook. I'm not sure how long it will last (DH gets offended easily, so I'm sure it will fizzle out as soon as brother says something to tick him off) but at least it's keeping him occupied, LOL. Brother has an older muscle car (their in common interest). DH does not have one. Of course now brother wants to share pics (of his and others he just likes) so now DH has muscles cars on his mind and thinks he should have one. I said well, then you will have to sell our house because this is where all our "vacations/hobbies/hot rods" etc is. Sure you brother can afford a muscle car...he lives in a small house that's hardly worth anything and that's all he has. He doesn't do vacations or other stuff, either.  Told DH to take his pick but I'm not going to listen to him whine that he doesn't have a muscle car, LOL.

I actually gave him that option when we owned the little house in town (which I reminded him of). I told him we could stay there, with that little house and little house payment and he could have those "toys". He didn't want to, so tough nuggets now, buster!

We are still waiting on his dad's will to get through probate. Who knows...We don't even know how much it will be let alone when, LOL. Apparently the 2019 tax return did just get done. Supposedly that was the last thing his sis was waiting to do. If it is the last thing that needed to be done, I don't know how long it will be before it's paid out to the 4 of them. Such a long process for a very small estate. DH did get a K-1 tax form from the estate, with deductions on it. At first I was like how in the world can they send a K-1 when DH hasn't even received anything from the estate? (Let alone inheritance isn't taxable.) But, then I realized it was 2 "losses" listed as final year deductions - what ever those are. One small amount that was "excess deductions" and a larger one "long term loss carryover". From what I can gather (I am not a tax accountant) DH has to report this on our tax return and gets to use $3000 of the long term capitol loss carryover (his share was like $8500). At least that's how it played out when I put it in our tax return program. From what I have read on the topic, we can claim the $3000 loss (if we don't have any gains to offset it with) each  year until the $8500 NOL is used up.

Still nothing on any annual salary increases with work. Other than the 2 owners and the 4 managers, it doesn't appear anyone has gotten a raise yet. Of course the 2 owners and 4 managers always get theirs put in the first week of January, LOL. I like how they sure expect their annual increase to be right on time every year,  haha! Just kind of strange no one has gotten anything and nothing about reviews (though most years they just don't do formal reviews). I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering....probably about 45 people wondering, LOL

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Hump day hassles

Oh my gosh! I am SO tired of our new payroll system. You'd think by now (we've had it since August) it would have all the bugs worked out and be an easy process every payroll (we only have 55 employees). Every single payroll processing day it's something different that causes a problem. And it takes half the day to hear back from our payroll person. She takes hours to respond to an email, so I call, but the recording always says she is never available, would you like to leave a voicemail? ok....but the last two payrolls their phone system won't let me leave a voicemail, so I end up having to email. I am beyond frustrated with this. It wouldn't be so bad if the person assigned to our company was actually available. I just have to sit and wait until she finally gets back to me, and then of course, I hardly have any time left in the day to get it all entered and reviewed, which ticks me off. We finally heard back right at closing time yesterday, but with not a good answer on if it was even fixed and then subsequent emails to her were not responded to. She asks me "how did you determine that today was when you were supposed to submit payroll?" OMG! Seriously?!! I said since we started with your company I was told I needed to process payroll 4 business days before our pay date (15th and last day of each month). I even got a generic type email from the payroll company the day prior, reminding me I was supposed to submit payroll the next day! Not to mention, when we first started they sent me a schedule of when to process payroll. And then while trying to make dinner, I having to message with my boss about it. (I need a raise!)

I was finally able to get it completed this morning, except the very last step produced an error message on a severance pay manual check (that the payroll person actually entered for my boss, not me), so I can't submit until she responds to that email I just sent. I'm sure it will be several hours wait, again. My boss actually sent an email to her and her boss about an hour before the end of the day yesterday, basically saying we all need to get this figured out, it shouldn't be this complicated every single payroll.

DH was crabby yesterday, but that is expected as usually 2 days after he over does it (worked on pantry all day Sunday) is when he feels the pain extra. He did at least go back to the lumber store yesterday morning and picked up some more boards so he can finish trimming the windows in his shop.

For reading books in my library queue it always seems to be feast or famine. The past week or so just about every book in my waiting list became available and I can't keep up now, haha.  I did finish Lee Child's newest Jack Reacher book. I have to say this one really didn't do it for me. I loved all the other books, but this one just seemed to drag on and on.

Awhile back I read a sci-fi suspense type book by Blake Crouch called "Dark Matter". Really good and mind-trippy. I then put in a reserve for another book he wrote after that one, called "Recursion", which I am reading right now. Oh wow - it's even mind trippier! LOL. I few times I had to put it down and take a little break, I think just to wrap my brain around it, but then I'd want to get right back into reading it. I'm about half way through it. I think both of these books would make really good movies.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Revisiting the SB

I was looking on Facebook Saturday morning and had a thought that I had not seen my step sister post anything in quite awhile. She doesn't post very often at all - maybe like once every month or two, but occasionally she will comment or click like on a post or picture of mine or DD's. So I went to her page to see if she's still on Facebook. Yep - apparently she unfriended me! I texted DD and she's like What?! Why?! I said I can only guess she didn't like that I decided to take care of my mom, LOL. Occasionally I will "un-follow" someone (but still stay "friends") because I either get annoyed that they post all day long, and/or post tons of political stuff (either way). I don't fit that bill. I post something to my wall maybe once a week and it's never about political or opinionated stuff. Just pics of our dogs, the nature outside or something like that.

She's the only one of my 4 step siblings who is on Facebook (and like I said - very minimally). They are really all too "good" for something like Facebook. I get that some people don't use it/care for it, but most of the people I know who don't, it's really just because they are pretty private people. But, I can guarantee you the reason none of my other step siblings use it is because they think it's beneath them and their social status.

Anyhow - I got a chuckle and an eye roll over realizing it. (though she is still friends with DD). The other day I was thinking about SB (her brother)...I was thinking how ironic that he felt he had the right (last August) to tell me I needed to take a month and go take care of my mom "she needs her daughter", yet when I decided to take care of her, he didn't like that one bit. Guess it just kind of proves to me he was involved for the money/and or control aspect.  And now my SS apparently doesn't think I'm good enough either.....yet she probably talks to my mom only a few times a year.........

Every person who knows me, has said SB is wrong, and must have just been in it for the money. I'm still not convinced that was his reason (though I'm probably wrong, I tend to believe the best in people). This is from my uncle (mom's brother), my half sister (no relation to this side of family), my boss and my side job boss (both of who trust me with their company's millions of dollars) and a couple of friends. Each of them completely trusts that I have her best interest at heart and will be better for her than him being in charge. But, what else reason could he have to be mad that I'm going to take good care of my mom?? Hmmm??? Not to mention, a couple years after my dad died (a little over 10 years ago) she updated her will (their previous will, when my dad was alive was split evenly between me and step sibs, as I expected it to be) and left it all to me. I was a bit surprised. She gave me a copy and said she changed it because she hardly ever hears from or sees any of them and they wouldn't be the ones taking care of her, I would be. She was of complete sound mind then. (I had no idea she had done this until she gave me the new will copy). Then in early 2018 when BF gets SB get all involved with her.....AND she had started to have her memory issues, her will gets changed. Seems mighty suspicious to me, now that I think about it. The new will only leaves 10% split between step sibs, so no big deal, but who knows what he might have done in later years with her will?

Last summer he also had her change her retirement account beneficiaries. It previously just went to her estate (and then would be distributed per her will.) Now it is listed with the beneficiaries % the same as the will, which is fine. I'm guessing that then all that could be distributed without having to go to the estate/probate (but what do I know?). BUT, it's also possible, since he had POA, that down the road he could have then changed the beneficiary of the retirement account to just him....which would have left nothing to go to the estate and nothing for all those she listed in her will, because that retirement account money is 95% of her assets.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Pantry fun

I got my pantry containers ordered. I went with this set

Though I think I am also going to order a couple cereal containers. I was also looking at spice racks. I have this wall space on each side of the shelves
I was looking to find a spice rack that could fit in this space and screw in to those wood strips. But everything I found seemed to be 17 inches wide and this space is 14 inches. Plus, a lot of them were pretty expensive. Then I came across these cute wire baskets, so I ordered 2 of them to hang on 2 of the wood strips.
I think they are so cute and only $7 each. With my found $50 gift card and $10 left on another gift card, I only had to pay $4 out of pocket. I'd also like to find a couple of small baskets or bins to set on a shelf to hold things like taco season packets and such, and one for the instant breakfast packets I drink for breakfast.

This is it with everything put back in, but without my containers I just ordered. I'm liking it so much already!

I'm looking forward to now being able to shop with stocking up on things in mind. We had the water and soda cases out in the garage, on a metal shelving unit, so now that space out there is freed up for DH to put more of his stuff, which will be helpful.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Ready to stock up

Finally! I have pantry shelves!

I think I'll be able to store a good bit of food in there :) And it has the rustic look I wanted. I've been looking at the food storage container sets. As usual I have to over think and over analyze a purchase (yes - I even get tired of my own brain!). I was all leaning towards this huge 26 pc set on Amazon for $90. Then I realized I don't need 26 containers! I wrote down what foods I have that I would keep in containers and came up with like 12. Now I can spend like half that. Much better. But, I still can't decide which ones to get. Sigh......

DH spent pretty much all day on it. He got up and went to the lumber store in town and bought the beam. Then he got back and started installing and screwing down all the shelves.Where the shelves meet each other he decided to drill holes and put in a piece of doweling to add support. Then he measured the beam for length and where to cut the notches for the shelves to fit. That took him awhile to get notches cut into the beam. Then he stained and let it dry. Last evening he was able to add the beam, for the finishing touch.

There's also a little bit of wall space inside (you can't see in pic) on each side of the door. I want to get a wall mounted spice rack to hang there.

 Maybe one of these days he'll get to our master closets, LOL.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

A big TGIF

If I have to deal with any more computer issues I'm going to bang my head through the wall! Good grief! All that accounting software issues from last week caused an issue with an app we use in conjunction with the accounting software. So I couldn't transfer our expense reports into it. I've been trying to figure it out for several days. Thursday I put in an "urgent" ticket with the expense app support one had gotten back to me yet. Then I tried to get our IT guy to help, which he was able to help part of the problem. While STILL waiting for the app support to call me I did some googling of the error message I was getting and I figured the darn thing out all on my own! Yay, but almost half a day with no work getting done again. GAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then, now that I can finally get back into the app program and take care of business, I notice another problem that is new, so I have to put in another ticket. At least on this one someone got back to me pretty quickly and was able to explain what happened and how to fix easily.

And as I'm on the phone with that support guy another call is coming in that I had to let go to voicemail. Turns out it was a lady from our IT company, working on my boss's request that they get me a new computer for home. My boss had suggested a laptop and docking station deal, like most everyone else has...I wasn't really digging that idea, but maybe it would be ok. Just didn't really seem necessary since I'm not traveling back and forth from my office desk to my home office desk, like others are. So, this lady asked me what I had now (tower computer) and my work situation and she said she thinks that's what I should have, not a laptop. I said I agree! She's just going to get me a small Dell desktop tower to replace the dell desktop computer I have now. It kind of sounds like it might be the same one I just bought DH when we had to replace his, LOL. Plus, just getting me a new desktop tower is cheaper than a laptop and docking station. Hopefully, it won't take too long to get this. She has to get my boss to sign off on the PO and then get it ordered and then ship it to me. She said she's going to add some monitor cables, just in case I need different than the ones I have for plugging into this new computer. Then she says "will you need help or instruction on how to hook up the computer? maybe you husband can help you?" I laughed and said no, he's useless with computers. I know how to hook up computers, LOL.

DH has been working on the pantry shelves all week. He's getting close. Just waiting for the second coat of stain to dry on the shelves. I think he may be cutting the trim boards while they are drying. He also got my 2 new roman shades installed in the dining room. They are the same exact ones we put in our bedroom. I'm just buying them as we have extra money and they are on sale. Still lots more window treatments to get.

I'm so glad it's the weekend. It was another busy hectic week and I'm ready for some relaxing time. I've hardly chatted with DD all week. She has had to work a whole bunch of OT this week, as well as work (from home) all day today. But, she's happy she will then have the money to buy the Dyson vacuum she wants.

Friday, February 7, 2020

This one or that one?

ok, I'm probably overthinking this and probably because it's not my money/my healthcare!

BlueCross/BlueShield has 2 medicare advantage plans to choose from. Here are the highlights:

Plan 1 cost $40/mo.
Annual out of pocket max $6700
Dr. visit copay $10, specialist $45
Drug coverage same
Hospital stay: $360 per day, days 1-5

Plan 2 cost $131/mo
Annual out of pocket max $3900
Dr. visit copay $10, specialisit $35
Drugs coverage same
Hospital stay $275 per day, days 1-5

The main difference seems to be the premium cost and out of pocket max. I'm kind of leaning towards Plan 1 at least for this first year or two. She's healthy, rarely goes to the doctor. If she did end up with something major and/or in the hospital the annual max difference is easily covered by her out of pocket. The dollar difference in max out of pocket and a 5 day hospital stay is a total of $3225. At the $91/mo difference in premiums, she's making that $3225 out of pocket cost up in the next few years. Granted, that's if she had no major medical in the next 2-3 years of premium payments.

If she wasn't healthy and saw a doctor for a chronic condition(s) I'd say go with plan 2, but since she is healthy and very well may stay that way, for at least the next 2-3 years, might was well go with the lower premiums and take a chance on the out of pocket cost. Like I said, a few thousand dollars, if by chance she had to pay it out, is really not much of an expense for her.

I did call her Wednesday after lunch and told her I got it all figured out and that we'll switch her to a BCBS plan. I didn't go into any other detail about the different plans offered and that seemed to work best and she was happy to hear it's figured out.

On a good note, a couple hours after I had called my mom to tell her I figured out the insurance and she will be able to switch to a plan that works here, she called me up. She said she just wanted to tell me thank you again and how happy she is that she will be moving close to me soon and how happy she is that I want her to move by me. So sweet :)

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Brotherly love

I mentioned a little while ago DH keeps hearing from his older brother and he keeps wanting him to come in to the city and meet for lunch.  The other day I finally said to DH - just go do it and get it over with. Then you can tell yourself you did it/made the effort and be done with it. Yesterday I guess brother texted him again, so he decided to go have lunch with him. I guess he went to brother's house first (to pick him up, he doesn't drive much anymore I guess) but they sat down, started talking, looking at old family pics, etc, and just ended up staying at brother's house. Thankfully when Dh left our house at noon, he had already eaten his lunch, haha. He was there until 7pm and gets home at 8pm and said he's starving. I said didn't they feed you some dinner since you were there so late? He said his sister in law offered, but Dh said he wasn't hungry then (until he was driving home). DH can talk a person's ear off and I think brother is kind of the same, so hence the 6 hour visit. Especially since they hadn't seen each other in probably 20 years or more. They were living in Alaska then, had come down for a visit and stopped at Dh's parents house for literally like minutes, while we wre there and that was it. He never tried to keep in touch with DH after they moved to Alaska (though DH had tried calling him a few times, when he first moved up there like 30 years ago).

He's not very healthy. I think he is like 63 years old. Alcohol has always been a big part of his life. He also told DH that while living in Alaska they did get involved with cocaine for awhile (probably why they gave up one of their kids to the state, because they couldn't care for his special needs). They are both heavy smokers, so sitting in their house while they smoked the whole time - ugh! glad it wasn't me. DH totally stunk like cigarette smoke when he got home (which he hates) so the first thing he did was throw his clothes in the laundry room and jump in the shower.

Other than that it was an ok visit, I guess. They always had a love of muscle cars in common, so something to talk about. I'm sure now that the visit gone done with, it will all fizzle out, back like it was for the past 30 years.  At least I didn't have to go with him! I have no desire to spend any time with them, unless I have to and since I guess they don't want to drive out to see us, I shouldn't have to worry about it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Insurance answers

After my phone call to my mom's insurance plan management company, I think I have now fairly well figured this out. In reading the paperwork I had copied during my last visit to mom I am more understanding the "role" this company has in the retiree's medical program.  Prior to 2020, the company my dad retired from had a "company sponsored program" that offered two group health plans to choose from. In 2020, they moved the retirees to the the state based "Health insurance Marketplace". The company made this change because the previous 2 group plans offered to retirees were limited and expensive (mom was paying $340/mo and directly to this management company, not Kaiser. Now in 2020, she is paying Kaiser directly). There are fewer than 650 retirees in the program and enrollment shrunk by 25% between 2015-2019 (probably because people could get basically same thing for a lot less,on their own). With this switch the company is using a different company to assist in making choices/signing up. Or.....a person can just sign up on their own for these exact same plans.

I spent more time on the phone having my mom give them permission to talk to me than I did actually figuring it out, once I was able to ask my questions, LOL. Learning how to do that 3 way calling on my cell phone has been very helpful! Basically, they needed my mom to give me "power of attorney" (verbally over the phone) in order to manage her account with them. She was a bit confused by the lady rattling off all the legal stuff and trying to explain to her that had 2 options - give me full POA on her account or limited access.

Finally, all that got taken care off, mom left the call and I explained to the lady what I am needing help figuring out. Since she had a choice of many plans for 2020, would any of them work in Montana? She kept trying to tell me I needed mom's new address, in order for her to figure it out. I kept saying, she hasn't moved yet, obviously I need to get the insurance figured out BEFORE moving. I was just about to just give her my address, when she came back on the line and said the best thing would be for me to go to their website, put in the zip code and see what plans are available. I was able to do that and saw that there were 3 Humana Plans - the exact same 3 plans I had come across earlier (while waiting to call my mom when she was up and about for the day).

The hospital and their providers/clinics in this area also showed they are contracted with Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medicare Advantage. I did some more digging on BCBS website and finally found their plans - they have 2 advantage plans.  I then also went to website and did a search for this area and it came up with the same plans offered for this area: 3 Humana plans and 2 BCBS plans. Costs ranging from $0 premiums to $131/mo.

So, those are the choices and I think I'll be able to pick one that is similar to what she currently has. I was also able to go online and figure out what exactly her current plan's coverages/limits, etc are, so I can compare to these choices.

I know mom is confused by it all. She keeps saying "I need to call and figure out my health insurance". I keep telling her I am handling it. She actually did call Kaiser about a week ago to see if they cover Montana and they told her no, only for urgent care, but she seems to have forgotten she made that call. When she called and told me that, she says "well, I guess that would work" I said no, if she has to go into the hospital for something or needs surgery/specialists, etc, we need to have her on an insurance plan that covers seeing doctors here. 

My uncle called last night, after he talked to her and said she seems pretty concerned about figuring out her health insurance to move. I'm trying to keep it all as simple as possible in explaining it to her (but nothing about Medicare is simple!) and hopefully today, I can just tell her I figured it out and we'll be able to change her to a new plan so she can see doctors and hospital here. And just try not to go into much detail with her. I'm kind of leaning toward the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan over Humana. I feel better now that this is basically figured out and not on my to-do list anymore (other than actually getting her signed up for the new plan, when that time comes).

Tuesday, February 4, 2020


DH is on hold a day or two with construction of the pantry shelves. Something he learned from woodworker friend. Stack the wood, clamp it down, and let it acclimate a bit to a warmer temp than in the freezing cold lumber yard, haha. So, it's all out in the heated shop right now, doing that. Hopefully he can get started cutting tomorrow.....because he really needs a project to do. Or if it would snow, then he'd be busy plowing, but we seem destined to have a mild winter.

I'm also working on figuring out my mom's health insurance and making sure I'm understanding it all (I'm sure I'm not!). She is on a medicare advantage plan. My understanding is she can change plans outside of the open enrollment period, if moving to a different coverage area. Her current plan is offered through the company my dad retired from. Why? I'm not exactly sure. From what I recall my parents mentioning years ago, was after my dad retired he was able to put them/keep them on a plan through his employer retirement benefits. I don't think there were any choices of different plans or insurance companies. Then quite some years ago they got switched to Kaiser. I do not know if during this time they had any cost to be on this "retirement plan". I know since I started figuring out what my mom's bills were (about 4 years or so ago) I know she was paying about $340 a month for this Kaiser medicare advantage plan.

From what I can gather, for 2020, the retirees group changed what was offered to the retirees. They now had many options and different plans and insurance companies to choose from (from what her BF said - they got put on the insurance "marketplace") and BF helped pick her plan for her. She stayed with Kaiser and sounds like a similar plan to what she had, but now the cost is only $99 a month (starting 2020).

I'm not really sure I understand the benefit of being under this retirees plan all these past years. She really doesn't have a clue, so I can't ask her. In fact, half the time she thinks "it's free through the retirees plan". I keep reminding her, no, you are paying for it each month. You used to pay $340 a month, now this year you are paying $99. Maybe years ago, when my dad first retired it was a free benefit to them and then at some point they started charging them? I don't know.

I'm also reading that if a person chooses a medicare advantage type plan (instead of medigap insurance) then that is what they have to stay with. I googled medicare advantage plans for this state and one of the links was with the main hospital/medical group here in the city. They had an "info" page on medicare advantage and said there are 2 they are contracted with: Bluecross/Bluesheild and Humana. That seems like good info to know, since that is most likely the hospital and providers I would have her use (that's what I use). I did find some info on Humana's website about the advantage plans offered (3) and their costs. Though I'm still trying to figure out the differences in the plans and which would be best ($0 monthly cost, $44 and $68/mo).  I haven't been able to find anything on the BC/BS plans and costs, yet, apparently because it's not open enrollment time.

I'm going to call her current insurance administrator company (not Kaiser, it's a company that manages the retirees insurance plans) and see what info I can learn from them. I guess I just don't get what the purpose of the retirees using this, if they can get the same plans, at same cost on the "marketplace". I also tried to log into her "account" with this plan adminstrator company. I  registered with her info and it shows her "account" but shows she's not enrolled in anything. (but I know she is). Weird.

I have a headache already, LOL.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Pantry talk

DH took the next step to getting the pantry shelves done. He went and got the lumber this morning at the town lumber store. I am hoping to have some pantry shelves by the end of this week! Originally we were going to do some wood shelves with these metal brackets, but dang, the brackets were pretty spendy and would have been several hundred dollars just in brackets. He decided to mount them on "rail" of wood secured to the wall, if that makes sense. Way cheaper. His lumber store total came to $118.

First he'll need to measure again, then cut his lengths. Then stain them and let dry. Then he can start installing them. He's using heavy duty black screws and I think he already has enough of those left from a previous purchase.

I want to get some airtight canisters to put a lot of the food in. I'm kind of watching for a good deal. I think that is what I will put my $50 giftcard towards. I'm thinking this large set for $90. I've also been looking at lots of recipes for making your own mixes, like taco seasoning, cream of soup, brownie mix, etc. I also want to get a few baskets to put on the shelves, so I think next time I have time to go into Ross store, I'll look there. They usually have low priced stuff like that.

I'm having a good day with MTurks. At $13.68 for far, from quick hits that are paying well and also just received an email that I got a $2.50 bonus.

That's about all that's going on today, other than still super busy with work.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Wind, pretzels and soup

Yesterday was a windy windy day. And very warm, in the upper 50's. When I got up yesterday morning it was 57 degrees.DH went outside in between the gusts a couple of times and picked up branches. Our windchime was playing it's music most of the day.

Mid morning I made the pretzel dough and then let it rise for 40 minutes. Pretty much a Pinterest Fail in terms of a pretzel shape, but they totally tasted yummy!

In the afternoon I made my big pot of taco soup for dinner. I had enough leftover for 3 containers to put in the freezer. This pic was just before adding a dollop of sour cream.

Last night the temps dropped and the rain turned to some heavy snow around midnight and just like that we are back to winter white and 27 degrees.

DH finally at least made a start to getting his shop organized and eventually cleaned out. He measured and figured out where and what he wants/needs for some racking/shelving units along the back wall. Then he drew out (he likes doing that kind of stuff) what it will look like and figured what he needs and what it will cost. While we don't have that much money saved up yet, at least now he knows. I helped him do some measuring. I really haven't been out there much since we moved into the house, LOL. I didn't realize he at least had been able to move stuff around a bit (after getting our house stuff out) and at least has paths now to walk through to get to sections of stuff. And thanks to me organizing those bins in my office on Friday, when he asked if I could sharpen his pencil, I now knew where my electric pencil sharpener was!

I had a really good day on MTurks yesterday, for a Saturday: $10.75. My goal for the month was $250 but I only did $209. This morning I have $2.30 so far.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

It pays to organize

Yesterday I decided to organize 2 bins of papers and crap in my office, into one bin. In one bin was mostly all the oodles of owners manuals we got from all the new stuff during our house build. I was able to put all those in a file cabinet drawer and then put the rest of the papers in the other bin that still had some room in it. In going through the papers I found a Visa gift card. It was the card I received as a gift for Christmas from my boss - a year ago. I totally figured it was zero balance. I mean, I would never leave a balance on a gift card! But, I figured I should double check the balance, in case there's a few dollars left on it.  There was $50 on it! What?! I looked at the history and last Feb or March I bought a $200 Amazon gift card with it. I remember using it towards my plumbing fixtures I bought through Amazon (which came to more than $200) but why I just didn't do the whole $250? I'm thinking that for some reason I thought this was only a $200 gift card. Either that or it was such a busy time, with all the house build going on (and DH's dad dying) that I spaced out and forgot about the $50 left on there (which is probably why the card wasn't thrown away). It was a win win. I got my office a bit more organized and earned 50 bucks :)

The wind is blowing like crazy this morning. Small tree branches blowing off and hitting the house. Crazy. Last night DD (400 miles away to the direct west) said they were having a big windstorm. I guess we have it now.

I only had to work a half day yesterday, so tidied up the house, as our friends (neighbors from when we lived in town) were coming over to go out to dinner. They hadn't seen our house since it got done. They drove, we bought dinner. This is the guy that works in Alaska. His current job is 3 weeks up there and 3 weeks home, but he's seriously considering taking a job closer to home. His wife is used to being on her own most of the time so she's not too thrilled, LOL. Our dogs were happy to see our friends. Our black dogs really loves the Mrs. and wouldn't leave her side the whole tour of the house, haha.

I'm so glad it's the weekend. I need some relaxing time. I'm going to make a "taco soup" for dinner. It's basically just about every type of bean there is, hamburger, tomato sauce and rotel and taco seasoning. I serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and Frito scoops. Plus it makes a ton, so I can freeze about 2 more dinners out of it.

I also bought some yeast to make homemade soft pretzels, so I think I'll try making those today, too.

And figure out what to spend the $50 gift card on.