Friday, July 31, 2020

Friday stuff

When I went out to the chicken coop last evening I peeked in the 2 nest boxes (as always, LOL) and the one that has the fake egg in it was all disturbed and the fake egg all pushed over to the corner. Still no real egg, but at least one of them was checking out the accommodations!

It's going to be so hot again here today at 100 degrees. My mom called me. 9:30 am and I'm thinking oh oh, something must be bothering her, LOL. Nope. She's already been down to the dining room to have breakfast. Been playing her solitaire on the computer and going back down at 11 for an exercise session outside (in the shade and they sit in chairs). It's only (haha) about 80 at 11am.

I'm not feeling much like working on this Friday. I miss my half day Fridays. I guess my weekend is going to be busy helping DH with his shop shelf/loft project. He wants me to stain the boards/posts. Hopefully I won't have to work all day with him. I am so hoping, though, that once he's done with it, it will give him a bunch of extra storage space, to start to get stuff cleared off the pallets/floor space.

No word again from the fencing guy - who like a week or two ago said he'd be out this week. It's all just ridiculous around here. We discussed calling some other fencing companies for bids but here's how it will go. After about 3 or more weeks they will finally get out here to give us a bid. If by some miracle it's not way over what our guy bid us and we hired them, it would be another 3 months before they actually got out here and did the meantime our original guy probably would have finally been able to get out here and had it done.

I'm having VPN/remote log in issues today. I am so not in the mood to deal with it on a Friday! Finally I'm back in my regular job, but now I can't get into my side job. I am just ready for it to be 4:30...but it's only noon :(

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Eggs(less), lumber, and phones

Still no eggs from my chickens. A few times the past week or so, when I go into the coop, one of the hens will squat down in front of me for a few seconds. After about the 3rd or 4th time she she has done this I googled it. It says this is a good sign she will be laying soon! Woo hoo! Still waiting, LOL.  What I read says they do this as a sign of submission to the rooster and since they have no rooster, I am her rooster. Okie dokey. Then it went on to say it's a sign she is getting close to starting to lay eggs.

DH is going to the lumber store again today.  He wants to get started on a loft/shelf thing he wants to build in his shop, so he can start getting some of the crap off the floor and create some space. There is a small loft space above the bathroom and he wants to extend it down along the wall as more storage area above. He's having a hard time figuring out exactly how he's going to build it, but at least he can get started and give him a new project. He's such a perfectionist that he keeps agonizing over practically every blade of grass, LOL. Now it appears we may have grubs eating from underneath so trying to research grub killer to spread and when. Sounds like it's supposed to be done either spring or fall....well, what the heck do you do in the middle of summer when you just got them?! He starts to research online and then shows me what he's found - then tells me "will you research it?" This time I said no, you can do it. I'll look up stuff and read off stuff I think might be useful/important and he's always say something like I already know that, or that doesn't apply. Well, then you can much more easily skim over what you are reading and know if you need to keep reading or not! Why waste my time? And he spends hours sitting at him computer in the evening time between when I go to bed and he does. Use that time for that! If he can sit there for hours looking at whatever he does (he likes google earth and a car guys forum he frequents or watching youtube videos on stuff, or messaging with friends) he can just as easily read/learn/research something.

We also had a little discussion yesterday about his constant issue with his iphone being filled up with pics and videos, no easy way to transfer the "albums" to hard drive and organize. He acts like it's my fault. I told him yesterday I don't have any more knowledge than he does on how best to copy and organize all his phone photos, yet when I can't figure it out, it's my fault. But he just gets to sit there and say "oh, I don't now how to do it". I told him probably the best way is for him to daily or weekly transfer his latest photos to his hard drive and put them in the folders/albums he wants them in. That way there are a manageable number to deal with daily or weekly, rather than every couple of  months me having to figure out how to get hundreds of new photos and videos copied over and then of course they don't copy over in albums/organized like he had them on his phone.

I do call my mom every single day, even if it's just to talk for a few minutes. Some days are so hard to just do it! I'm busy, I will put off making the call until "later" and then later comes and I'm tired and do not feel like talking. Ugh. I am really really not a person who likes to talk on the phone at all, so a daily call is (some days) hard to get motivated for. I'm better if I do it in the morning, before lunch. But that is also when I seem to be at my busiest with work and time gets away. Then afternoon comes and I'm tired and sleepy and not in the mood to talk. I make myself do it at some point every day, but some days I just can't get too excited about it, haha. For people that like to talk a lot, I'm sure it's no big deal or not understood. If I never ever had to talk on a phone again the rest of my life, it wouldn't bother me one little bit, LOL.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Prepping work

I've had a $50 Target gift card balance sitting in my Target wallet for about a month. I finally decided to use it towards some new tennis shoes. Mine are getting really grungy looking from all the work we did around here. I ordered some Skechers for $40 and used the balance (and another $10) to order some dang canned green beans (because they seem to be on a shortage and I'm out), toothpaste and some nail clippers.

I'm probably paranoid, but I think either way this presidential election goes in less than 100 days, we are going to be in trouble. I need to get as prepared and stocked up as possible.

I also feel like I was not as prepared as I should have been when this pandemic started and things started getting hard to find in the stores and limits placed, etc. While we did really have enough TP on hand for a couple of months, it was getting close there at the end to find any before I felt comfortable with the amount we had left. I've been working on stocking up my pantry, though not as well with our freezer yet. For the dogs I currently have stocked about 3 months worth of dog food.

I'm giving myself 100 days to get more stocked up. But, I feel like I can't wrap my head around how much! I know it's never too much, LOL, but I'm not used to having this much stuff on hand. It just doesn't feel natural to me. I'm used to having one or two of most things on hand.

My side job is based in Oregon. Obviously not a good situation going on there and they are glad all their employees are still working from home. Their new office building was vandalized a week or so ago. My boss lady/friend said almost all her long time friends and neighbors have moved out of state or are looking to do so. Makes her sad and mad.  Like she said "Peaceful my ASS!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Much better Tuesday

It was a hot one yesterday. Our outside thermometer showed 100. Having a/c is the best thing ever, LOL. If nothing else, just for the simple fact I do not have to listen to DH complain all day how hot it is in the house (spent years dealing with that). But then again, if it's not that it's something else he finds to complain about.

I'm hoping today is easier and less stressful than yesterday, though I'm sure my mom will have to ask me several times this week about the money that got transferred from her retirement savings to her checking. I think I've learned my lesson after last time, though. Do not transfer any of that money now in her BofA checking to her BofA savings. That really threw her for a loop last time. I didn't want to leave $15k in her checking so transferred $10k to savings. I don't know how many times I had to explain that. If she brings up wanting to move some to hold in savings, then I'll do it. Otherwise just going to leave in checking.

I have this cute bird bath dd gave me a few years ago. I think I figured out the secret to getting birds to use it. At our old house I had a bird bath (left it there for some reason) and the birds never seemed to use it either. The birdbath is on our back patio next to the stone pier. A couple of weeks ago dh moved it to the other side and the gutter spout up above pours right into it and it filled it completely up to the edge when he had a big rain one day. I had just been putting about 2/3 full with water. Birds came. So now I keep it filled to the edge and they use it all the time. It was enjoyable to watch them for a few minutes this morning, while drinking my coffee.

I managed to get enough green beans picked to have with one meal. Mind you, I have always hated green beans. I made these with bacon and onion and they were delicious. Not such a strong green bean flavor like the canned ones have. DH still seems to prefer canned. Though I can see several of the plants would be needed to have enough to pick to serve with some meals.

I think I'm going to take a quick little work break and water my flowers this morning. I did it last evening, but with this heat I'm sure an extra dose will be needed.

My uncle just texted that his skin cancer biopsy came back and they got it all and he was also Covid tested and negative for that, so all is good with him.

Well, that's about all I know for today.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Hit and miss with the to do list this morning

When I was at my mom's on Saturday, rather than throwing misc mail in her wastebasket, I just put it all in my purse, because I'm pretty sure she goes back thru the wastebasket and pulls stuff back out! So, one of the things I put in my purse was this little 3 fold flyer about "rewards". Figured it was just junk mail. Well, now I know what/who she talked to for 20 minutes on July 11. It's some scam called "My Capital Rewards Membership" and for $18.35 a month you can get $100 a month in "rewards" and inside was stapled a piece of paper with this info and also saying "your monthly charge of $18.35 will automatically bill to the payment method you provided 30 days from now".  So, even though she swore she didn't give out any credit card or banking info, I am going to have to be on the lookout. IF she gave her credit card#, well, then I think we are safe, because on 7/13 is when I got the fraud alert for a $1 charge (not sure if they are related) and her card was cancelled and a new one received last week, so they won't have the new card#. Now I just have to make sure if/when they call her back (and I'm sure they will) she doesn't talk to them or give them her info again.

I finally was able to log in to her medicare advantage plan health insurance. But, it's still a crappy website because just about everything I click on says "not available at this time". It shows her payments, but nothing to set up auto payments. It shows she's had $38 in out of pocket so far, but shows no claims available (though she's been to the dr. 5 times). I'm trying to see if they have a mail order pharmacy (they'd better!) but even trying to put in her zip code to see available pharmacies gets a message that cannot be found at this time. I guess I'm going to have to call. I logged in again a little later and was as least able to get payment options. No way to pay online (good grief - it's 2020!) and to set up auto pay I had to print out a form, fill it out and mail it in. I was able to get that out in my mailbox this morning, before the carrier came. I also asked if I could pay her next premium over the phone, but they don't have that option.

I did have to call to figure out if mail order prescription is available and it is through Alliance Rx and I must register her with them. I tried to do that online, but I guess their website isn't fully working either, it won't let me complete the registration. It's like I can't quite get anything completed, LOL.

When she lived at her previous senior living apartment, cable was included in rent, but she got a statement from Xfinity every month, showing the $37 charge and then it would show $37 paid via credit card and zero balance. It confused her every single month. And for some reason the statements are still coming/being forwarded, which now confuses her even more so. I'm guessing her previous apartment hasn't rented her apt. out yet, so the name on the billing hasn't gotten changed. I knew her Xfinity log in so I just went in and changed it to paperless billing, haha. It goes to a comcast email that she never used/knew she had. So, one less thing to come in her mail. I had thought about calling her previous apartment, but figured I'd have to end up talking to 2 or 3 people and then of course it wouldn't get taken care of.  I found a link through the site to register (for $2 for 10 years) to cut down on junk mail, so I put her name and address in for that. Maybe it will help a little. I do have her cell phone and internet on paperless billing. If I can get this Blue Cross/Blue Shield figured out, I'd like to go with auto payments, paperless billing and paperless claims. I do have her doctors group set up with paperless billing to go to my email. I just paid her latest copay due with her credit card.

I wanted to just do an online transfer (quick and easy) from her retirement savings account to her checking, but it requires a PIN # she no longer remembers/has. I called to get the PIN# reset and they won't let me, even with POA, do it! What's the freaking point of having the POA but not be able to handle everything she can handle on her account? So, anyway, I had put in an email to her broker lady 2 weeks ago with 2 different questions about her account and she never responded, so I needed to talk to her anyway. She did apologize for not getting back to me. (that's like the 2nd time she's done that)

I wanted to know what mom has for her beneficiaries on her retirement account. She has 2 different papers in her file drawer. One is typed up on official document and another is just typed out on a piece of paper, and doesn't match the other one. The typed out had reduced my share (from the other one) and added my 2 kids. Broker lady says the one they have on file is the one on official paperwork, not the typed out one. Who knows what happened there.  I know last summer she had contacted my dd to get her SS# and said it had to do with her will, but I'm thinking she thought she added them to her retirement beneficiaries and did not, for some reason. Like DD said - to get anything done with them  you have to jump thru 100 hoops and SB probably didn't do it, or he did and they just never got it taken care of (like it took me months to finally get them to change the POA to me). Of course she has zero memory of what she did or what she wanted to do. That checkbook is no longer valid. It was set up for an account she had quite awhile back, but it's now closed and she just has the IRA and the new savings. She said they can do checks for her savings account, if we want, and I said no, that's ok. One checkbook/register to keep track of is good enough. Then I had her transfer some money to her checking account, since I couldn't do it online. Next time I am at her place on a weekday, I'm going to have her get on the phone with the help desk and request the PIN#. If I need to transfer money, the online way is so much quicker, less than a minute. When I have to call her broker, it's a phone call, leave a message. Get a phone call back....

And next time I'm at her place (I forgot on Saturday) I'm going to finish signing her up for USPS informed delivery. It wants to send her a text to verify her and I know if I try to do that with her over the phone it will just be a mess, so I'll wait. At least if I can see most of the mail she is getting I might be able to head off another scam before she calls them.

And just when I think I'm finally all done with taking care of mom stuff this morning I get another fraud alert text from her credit card! Same $1 charge as before. How would they have this new# again?! I called her bank, of course they won't talk to me (previous authorization no longer good) so I say can I call her and get her on 3 way and the idiot tells me no. So, I hang up, call mom up, have her hold while while I call bank back. Get a different person, as expected, my mom tells them she wants them to talk to me. Guy is helpful and says this is some continues monthly authorized charge, so that is why it tries to go to new card, too. He does have the ph# for the place and says once I cancel the service to call back. So, it's some rewards center (see above!) that yep, they somehow got her to give them her info to bill. I pretended I was her and told them to cancel the service and got a ref#. Then I had to call bank back and go through the whole 3 way call/authorization again, BUT at least she does not have to have the card cancelled. She can still keep using this card and they marked the service as canceled and not fraud. The lady asked if she signed up for it or it was fraud and I told her most likely I think she signed up for it not realizing what she was doing.

So, now it's 2pm and I've pretty much gotten ZERO work done today :( I really just need a nap.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

The Saturday update

I had a good visit with mom. Her rash is doing much better than last visit, so I was really glad to see that. Still a bit red, but faded and much smaller area. I picked her up outside (just so I woudn't have to go through the check in process 2 times that day) and we went over to the grocery store for her small list. Of course, she always has something on her list that she already has - like coffee pods. Also, every visit she has her pill box filled up on her own, so that is also good news.

We got back to her apartment and she called down to see if she could order an extra lunch brought up.  Then I asked about her laundry and of course she had not done any in the last 2 weeks since we last did it. I went and checked and both machines were available, so we did a load of her whites and a load of her clothes. I'm pretty much guessing the reason she isn't doing it herself is because she doesn't know/remember much how to use the machines now. While I am visiting her every 2 weeks, I'll just keep doing it for the next couple of months. If she doesn't start to do any on her own, then I will "suggest" she hire that lady to help. Because when winter months come I won't always be able to visit every 2 weeks.

I went over papers on her desk - boy, it would be so much easier if she didn't get so much junk mail - mail she thinks is legit. This time, rather than just putting in her waste basket under her desk, I just put it all in my purse. I have realized she apparently goes back through the waste basket and stuff gets brought back out, LOL. At her old apartment the cable tv was included in the rent but for some stupid reason she would get a monthly bill from Xfinity in the mail that would show $37 charge and $37 payment and zero due. It confused her every single month. She's still getting it forwarded in the mail and of course confusing her even more now. And she apparently keeps getting mail from her old health insurance and she can't keep straight that she doesn't have that insurance, so she doesn't need to hang on to their "junk mail".

Lunch was pretty good, in my opinion. As good as anything I'd make, haha. Lunch there is a dinner type meal, Dinner is more a light lunch type meal (when I used to visit my grandparents ranch lunch was dinner and dinner was supper). It was spaghetti noodles in a cream sauce with bacon, breadstick, snap peas, cottage cheese and a peanut butter cookie. I said this is good. She said, yes, I can't complain about the food (really?! LOL) so it was a good segue into asking her about her conversation with uncle and she telling him she didn't like the food. She says she doesn't remember telling him that and that maybe she just meant the food always seem to kind of be the same stuff. I looked at the menu for next few days. Seems quite a variety to me. Pasta that day, pork the next day, etc. I said either she or uncle thought maybe she should move because of it? I told her we can certainly go look at the other 3 places in town if she wants, but I have a feeling all of them (just as her previous apartment) are under a more limited menu plan with the virus and them having to serve meals to apartments. I also said the other places range from $800 to $1400 more a month than she is paying, to which she of course says "oh, I don't need to pay that, this place is fine".

I'm guessing her memory is what's causing a lot of this. I ask her all the time what she had for lunch or dinner and unless she was still eating or just finished she never even remembers what the meal was. I think her mind is just making her think she has the same thing all the time? Or, since there are no choices in what meal to have, right now, of course there will be some meals she just doesn't like, but that doesn't mean the meal is bad. Like the cottage cheese with lunch. I HATE cottage cheese, but that doesn't mean the meal was bad, LOL.

Before I got to her place I stopped and did curbside pickup for 2 orders. One for pine shavings poultry bedding and another for landscaping edging at Lowes. I tried a different brand/bag of shavings. Much cheaper than what I first bought, so I'm hoping it's same as other stuff. DH had sent me an amazon link to the roll of edging. $65. When I went to order it it was then $74. For 60'. I looked it up for other places and Lowes had same exact thing for $35. Glad I checked!

After mom's I picked up my grocery order and got home about 2pm. I didn't do much. Put all the groceries away. Made dinner at about 5. Hamburgers and corn on the cob. Texted with my half sister a bit. Messaged with DD a bit. A couple weeks ago they tore out their wood patio deck and yesterday had concrete poured for a patio. They are very happy with it.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

What now?!

My uncle calls my mom about every other day. A typical call lasts 2-3 minutes, LOL. Oh, and he had his skin cancer removed and I think all is probably good with it (it was sent to pathology). Anyhow, I get a text from him last night that he had a long chat with my mom last night and she doesn't like the food there, she can't eat it, so maybe she needs to move. Huh?! Just a few days ago she was telling me that at one of her meals she got to eat in the dining room she had one of the ladies that work there tell the chef he/she is doing a great job. A few times she has mentioned she didn't really like a meal too well, but that also probably has to do with food tastes. I'm sure she's not going to like every meal they serve and right now, during Covid-19, they are getting meal choices. Prior to Covid-19, when they could all eat down in the dining room for each meal, they would get like 3 choices per meal.

So, I told him I'm visiting her today and will talk to her about it. I'm sure she will have no idea/remember she even said that to him. And as soon as I say to her "well, I can get you the information on the other 3 places again and the prices are about $1500/mo more and we can go tour them if you want" she will say "oh, no. I'm fine here".  We'll see what she says. If she really wants to move, then it's ALL going to be done by hired movers. Plus, I'm sure all the places are having the same situation right now - having to serve most meals to their apartments, so not giving much choices of meals.

Well, off to shower and get ready so I can go see her. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 24, 2020


It seems that not making a goal is working out better for me in regards to MTurks. Who knew? LOL. At the beginning of the year I had a goal of $8 a day (to try and get to around $3000 for the year). I took a month or so off, but got back to it this week. Just logging in when I sit down at my desk in the morning and doing what I can do througout the workday, even if it only turns out not to be much. Only I've been averaging around $15 a day. I think when I had the goal of $8, once I hit it, I didn't try too hard the rest of the day. But, then there'd be some days where I couldn't get past a few dollars, so then I'd be frustrated I wasn't making my goal overall, for the week. And then there are days that I just am not in the mood for it.

I've had to laugh at my mom the past couple of days. Pretty soon I'm going to have to wait and have her call me when she's not busy, LOL. Wednesday she did 2 activities. Yesterday she also did 2 activities and it was her day to have meals in dining room and she went down for all 3 meals, even breakfast! (not to mention she actually remembered it was her day to eat in the dining room). I'm going to go visit her tomorrow for a couple of hours. She even said that she knows with me working all week and stuff to do around the house on weekends, that she doesn't expect me to come every weekend.

I just read where it sounds like another stimulus payment of $1200 will get approved soon. I also read where Trump wanted to also include a payroll tax cut, but it doesn't sound like that will happen. That would have been nice for a little break - a big chunk of my check goes to payroll taxes, LOL. Especially since I'm like 99% sure we won't be getting any bonus from my company this year, as well as no raises (though a few got in a raise just before all this crap hit, lucky them!).  The PPP money both my company and side job received do not have to be paid back now, apparently.

DH got stung by a bee yesterday. It's been a long time since I got stung by one, but I remember it hurt! I told him to take a benadryl, but of course he doesn't listen. Not like I don't have a ton of "benadryl" with taking all of my mom's Tylenol PM away, LOL. To be honest, the past week or so I'm not sure if she's been having very many of her mornings where she doesn't feel well because I have been calling her in the afternoon and not the morning. There's no point in asking her if she felt ok in the morning, because she usually has forgotten about it by afternoon, if she had. Obviously yesterday she felt fine, as she went down for breakfast. And the morning she doesn't feel well.....well, she thinks it's never happened before LOL. Her usual response after she tells me she's not feeling well is "well, it's weird...I just don't feel well", obviously not remembering it happens ALL the time.

Well, I'd better get busy this morning and finish up my online grocery order so I can make sure a time slot is available tomorrow after I visit my mom. Last time I waited too long and had to change my visit time to her by 2 hours.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Little grumbles and little wins

This week I've been making a concerted effort this week (verses no effort, at all, lately) to work on MTurks. My first 3 days (well 4 counting Sunday) just transferred $36 to my account, with almost $5 still pending to be paid, so $41 in just a few days is pretty good for me. I'm not making a daily or weekly goal this time. Just doing what I can and having some success so far.

We've just been having little things pop up to annoy us lately. Tuesday night at like 1:15 am (or I guess I should say early this morning) one of our smoke detectors chirped. Just one chirp and who knows which one it was. Last time we had an issue with them it was due to an error on the electricians part as they did not finish connecting them all. Apparently they are all hard wired and interconnected somehow. Then about 10 or 15 minutes later it happened again. GRRR. It's 1:30 in the morning! If it has a problem why can't it present itself at 1:30 in the afternoon or anytime during the other 16 waking hours in the day?! We don't really understand how they all work together, so not even sure which one chirped. From what I read if it was a backup battery going low it would chirp like every minute. So, then of course we lay there waiting to see if it happens again, but it never did. Frustrating. Not even sure what to look for.

When I let our dogs out to pee yesterday morning apparently neighbor had all his 5 dogs out, so of course they all came running over. I'm trying to let/get my dogs back inside and half of their dogs are also trying to get inside. It was complete chaos. I get my 2 in and the rest seemed to go home (hard to tell with our garage blocking the view to their house). Then a good 20 or 30 minutes or so later I hear very loud barking. Sounds like it's right next to our house. I start to walk downstairs and see through a french patio door that it's their son's big dog, still loose, standing on the corner of our back patio barking. Good grief.  After an interrupted night of sleep already, then DH had to get woken up by that.

And then there's my side job remote log in. Hasn't been working right since last week. Something to do with my second monitor and they were supposed to look into it and figure it out but no call back. Then I go to log in yesterday (and at least do some work using one monitor) and I can't even log in, says my password expired, but no way to reset it that I can tell. So, I emailed their IT service first thing yesterday and no reply. I had to email our office mgr this morning and he emailed them to call me asap. The ironic part is this morning I get an email from one of the company owners that he would like to know how much they paid this IT company last year....I said I'd be happy to look that up for him, but I am waiting for them to call me and fix my log in problem, LOL.

My friend in town said she has some more produce boxes and rice, this time, to give away this morning between 10 and noon. I'll have to see if I get my log in problem resolved before then, otherwise I am stuck here waiting for them to call me.  Speaking of her....she got 6 eggs (out of 7 chickens) yesterday.........still nada here at my chicken castle.

Oh! But I did just harvest my first ever green beans, LOL. I was kinda excited :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Things are growing

Flowers, plants and veggies are growing (despite being eaten by the deer).

Both my tomato plants are growing. The first plant I bought I thought would die because I had broken the stem when repotting it, so I bought another one. It had 2 good sized tomatoes growing it it when I bought it, but two times wind blew the pot over on our patio and the tomatoes fell off. Now there is one growing on that plant and the dying plant is looking pretty good and has 2 small ones on it.

The strawberry plant that got munched down by the deer came right back and now has a few berries growing on it.

A new to me perennial is doing well in one of my planter boxes. "Catmint". I really like it. Would be good for in the ground since it spreads out and has a little height to it.

And the best news that is growing - is our young neighbor couple down at the end of the street are expecting a baby around Christmas time! They have a 3 year old boy and are excited to be welcoming a new addition.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Catching up Sunday and Monday

The weekend was all about DH being a crab and with neighbor dog barking his head off about something at 8am yesterday morning (2 different times), it's not looking any better for  his mood. Neighbors are keeping the son's dogs inside while they are gone, so at least it's only one dog barking, LOL. Those 3 don't usually bark much anymore and while the one dog was having a go at it, one was just sitting there next to him, like what is your problem, bro? I think the 3rd one was still inside.

Sunday neighbor gave me a few of her "hens and chicks" succulents, as they are spreading out a bunch near her front walkway. After we planted, I took the little pot back over to her and she was doing some weeding by her front door, so we chatted awhile. I find it kind of sad that while she is outside doing yardwork so much when she isn't working, that at least one of their dogs can't just be out there with her, having the human company. But, none of their dogs listen much and won't stick around them. I know one of the male dogs (they have 2 male and one female) isn't neutered at 3 years of age and from what I read a bit, that is probably part of the reason he doesn't listen, takes off, etc. They are having company for several days and the guy arrived yesterday afternoon. Mr. was outside with him, kind of showing him around their place (I was outside watering my flowers and plants) and he did have all 5 of the dogs out - but of course they all took off over to our place. Then apparently at least 2 of them did their usual run off, as I saw a bit later he had to get on his quad to go look for them. Usually he finds them a good mile down the road....and apparently the people (several houses) that live down there have been calling him to tell him his dogs are running around down there.

The other evening I was outside watering flowers and my dog with the floppy shaggy ears was shaking his head and rubbing at his ear. He has been prone to ear infections over the years so I flipped his ear over to see if it was red inside. No, it looked ok. Then he did it some more, so I decided to take a look again closer. Ahhh....found one of those little "foxtails" (at least that is what I've always called them) in his ear area, just next to his ear canal opening. So glad I looked again and found it! He would have had a miserable night.

I received a surprise check for $32. Back when I was first going to the eye doctor for my eye problem, I had to pay out of pocket, because they don't bill medical insurance. I paid, submitted the 3 bills (two different eye dr's offices) to my insurance company with my receipts for them to reimburse me, if it's covered. It turned into a hassle as the insurance was sending me messages they were processing, then message that the diagnosis codes used were invalid on one, but I couldn't figure out which claim and even a call to the insurance company didn't clarify it. All in all it was supposed to be like $64 in total back to me. It was all coming about when I was trying to get my mom moved, etc. I just gave up on it and just decided it was out of pocket expense. I wasn't in the mood to keep trying.

So, Saturday I get a check from the first optometrist I saw. Apparently the insurance company did process that claim, but sent the check to the optometrist. No wonder it's all a big mess, if the insurance company couldn't even figure out that I had submitted the claim and not the eye doctor. I just went online with my insurance to see what the other 2 claims are showing. EOB's used to be a LOT more informative as to what wasn't covered and why. The second claim was basically the same exact type of claim as the first one. I just saw a different doctor for my continuing eye/cornea abrasion on the 2nd visit. The first claim was reimbursed, other than my $20 visit copay. The second claim was denied as all applied to deductible. Makes no sense, LOL.The 3rd claim was for the special contact lens, and no explanation as to why that wasn't covered.

My mom's replacement credit card arrived yesterday and she actually remembered it was coming and to call me that it did. Keeping fingers crossed that nothing happens with this one. She even said "I'll let you activate it", where last time when I mentioned I would activate it, she acted like she didn't really even understand what I was talking about.

I woke up this morning thinking it was Wednesday already. Guess the week is not going by that fast. It's been a hot 90 the past couple of days and mid 90's today. I'm pretty sure dh is due to mow the lawn, from the looks of it, so he'd better get up and at it before it gets too hot. I noticed our neighbor from down at the end of the street doing some weed spraying along our street when he got home yesterday, so that was nice. He seems like a really nice young guy.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Saturday stuff

DH likes to sleep in plain white t-shirts, a little larger than his size. I ordered him like 6 several years ago but after all his washings and sleeping in, they are falling apart. I couldn't remember where I had ordered from, LOL. Finally figured out it was and found my old order.  They are only $7 each, so I ordered 6 and we decided to go another size up just to give him even more sleeping room.

Then I went on to JCP to order him some more underwear. He has always worn their "Stafford" brand briefs. I think that is the only thing I ever shop for at JCP now. I used to shop at JCP for a lot of our clothes and linens, but somehow they changed over the years and I haven't shopped there in many years now. They stopped making the jeans I like and had changed the store inside so much I didn't care for it anymore. So, anyway, it was buy one get one half off on the briefs, plus a 30% off coupon code. I get it in my cart and go to check out and then they say they are out of that size. Gah! I waited until afternoon and checked again and it was showing back in stock, so I got the order in.

Yesterday was mostly spent cleaning house. Dinner was a chicken, veggies, stovetop type casserole. Tonight's dinner will be leftover hashbrown casserole from Friday night's dinner. Tomorrow will be leftover "taco soup" pulled out of the freezer.

I still have no chicken eggs, LOL. Friend texted me last night to see if anything yet. She got 5 eggs yesterday from her 7 or 8 chickens. She can't figure anything out haha, other than she does give hers oyster shell supplement and my half sis mentioned the same thing. I have to run into town later this morning to pick up a few groceries, so friend said to stop by and pick up a little bag of the oyster shells she will leave for me on her garage bench (she won't be home, but they always leave their garage unlocked, LOL). It also sounds like maybe she gives hers more scraps/treats than I have been. She had told me, when I picked up the chicks, she uses the layer crumbles for feed, so that is what I have been feeding. Then in her text she says feeding layer pellets?...I told her no, still the crumbles. Then she said she is still finishing up her layer crumbles bag and then when that is out she will switch to pellets, so that is not the difference between our chickens. She also suggested getting a back of meal worms, since mine don't get to roam around the yard looking for bugs. I will pick up oyster shells and meal worms next weekend when I go to the city. She said her's love the bread she always give them (I do give mine daily) but also they really like noodles. I haven't made anything with noodles in quite awhile, but will have to remember that. Or maybe just make up a small batch of spaghetti noodles for them, LOL.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Perception of time

Now that my mom is settling in her new place, I'm trying to decide on what is a good amount of time to make visits to see her. Somewhere between 2-3 times a YEAR (when she lived in different state) and once a week! It's a 100 mile round trip to see her. Usually we were going into the city every 2-3 weeks. I'd kind of like to get back to that schedule. But then I feel guilty - like I should be seeing her every week. But honestly, with her memory I doubt she could even tell you how often/when I last visited her, so every other week is probably fine, as long as she is doing ok. I'm also partly trying to save a little wear and tear on my 10 year old car, as we'd like to try to keep it at least another year before it wears out. For the most part I really only have time to go see her on the weekends, but going every weekend takes up a good half of one day, at least. Plus, I know when winter/snow comes I for sure won't be driving in there that often (most likely Dh will end up driving me), so she will have to be used to seeing me a bit less by then. I also call her daily.

I've often wondered what her time perception is now, with the short term memory problem. Does time now seem to go by faster for her or does it go by slower? I was guessing maybe it would go by faster, because basically she's almost always in the present. She's not thinking about what she just did 15 minutes ago or an hour ago. Does not seeing me for a week seem the same to her now as not seeing me for 2 weeks?

I tried to look up online and see if there are any articles/studies related to this question. Not much I can find. Most all deal with AD patients not knowing what time of day it is, rather than how they perceive how time is passing. I found only one article, so far, but while they studied adults with dementia and gave them tasks (like reading numbers) to do for varying lengths of time and then asked them to say how long they thought the task took, all they really said in the article is that their answers differed from the actual time, the article didn't explain how much or which direction their answers differed to actual time. Though one sentence said "the duration judgement decreased as the task complexity increased". Another sentence said "duration of time seem shorter when fewer events are recalled". So, I'm guessing that since she can't really recall as many events (short term wise) that have happened recently (say during the day) then time seems to be going by quickly for her (compared to a normal brain perception of time). Maybe when she's sitting in her apartment in the evening, it probably has seemed like the day went by fast - because she doesn't really have much memory of all what went on during the day.

Other interesting items I got from the article: the person is looking for information in their episodic memory, the brain’s storage area for episodes and events that the person was actively involved in.  The episodic memory is no longer being filled.

The semantic memory, too, works fairly well for a long time. This is a sort of knowledge memory and is used to remember the names of the days of the week, the capital of Sweden, and where the cutlery goes on the dining table.

In the meantime, she called me last night as she accidentally messed up her tv again. Apparently my uncle called her, she goes to mute it and pushes the input button instead. Last time this happened I finally figured out that she needs to push the input button twice to get it back to HDMI. Last night that did not want to work, so I said sorry, I guess you will have to call the front desk for help. She called me back about half hour later and said she kept pushing buttons and finally it came back on. She did go downstairs yesterday afternoon and played bingo again, too.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Birds and bad guys

Here's a cute video taken last evening of my bird bath and hummingbird feeder. Busy time!

Well, at least I hope you can view it. I've never uploaded a video before. It's only about a minute long.  Speaking of birds, my chickens still have no eggs layed, LOL.

Our little town/county is falling apart. We haven't had a jail in like a year, they had to close it down because they can't find enough people to staff it (well, seriously who would want to be a jail guard for $11/hr?!!). Then 2 weeks ago our under sheriff retired and then the sheriff resigned for health reasons. At the same same 2 (out of 5 deputies) quit and 2 dispatchers quit. Add to that some in the county aren't liking how the 3 commissioners are handling a replacement sheriff, as it's an elected position.

Then throw in a guy who is a total 100% troublemaker to everyone (everyone except all the town partiers/bar goers). His neighbors, the fire dept, the police dept (except one deputy he is buds with), the county commissioners, the town mayor and council...the list goes on. He uses community social media to air all his gripes. Just tried to get one of the commissioners to resign because he didn't like something she did. She was wrong what she did, but she apologized to all involved and said she was wrong. Can't ask for much more than that and it wasn't like she did something illegal or corrupt. He recently got charged with disorderly conduct and pled not guilty on a technicality and now has a court date next month. He and his wife have a B&B type place they are trying to fix  up. In the meantime it is literally a party there every weekend as they have a "BYOB bar" that is apparently legal. His neighbors are beyond sick of him, but if they complain he just does more. He put up a fence on one side and since his neighbors had complained about something, he painted their side of the wood fence rainbow colors.

Then there's the guy that now wants to be sheriff, one of the deputies. Kind of a newer guy who came from another county. Well, our neighbor found out neither the sheriff or the commissioners did a background check on him when they hired him! (we found most of this info from our neighbor). So, neighbor (who works for little county newspaper) did a background check yesterday and was like "oh geez, ya, he's not good". He was charged for being part of a poaching ring or something. He came from a nearby county, which just so happens the guy that did all our insulation work, was until recently, a commissioner for that county. DH just called him up to ask him what he knows about this deputy. As soon as DH said his name he said "oh god - your county needs to get rid of him! We did!". Among other things he sued their city/county 5 times while he was a deputy.  This does not sound like someone we want as a sheriff, that's for sure. (not to mention he's the deputy who is buds with the town/county troublemaker mentioned above). It will sure be interesting to see how this all shakes out over the next month or two.

Then yesterday (and it's happened a few more times since I think I mentioned it awhile back) we had another small plane fly low right over the river in front of our house. I was sitting upstairs in my office and the plane was almost literally eye level! They are supposed to be up 500 feet according to FAA, not to mention 500 feet from any structures on the right at this very minute I'm typing this the guy who oversees our little county airport returned DH's call.....he says it's 1000 ft!
Anyhow, yesterday dh got in the car and drove the 6 miles to the airport and the guy was just getting his little plane starting to go in his hanger. DH stops and takes a pic of it, so he gets the tail numbers. Then gets out and nicely asks the guy if he could stay up the 500 feet while going over houses. The guy says "oh, do you live in such and such neighborhood?" (about a mile past us, where there are quite a few houses along the river) and dh says no. Then the guy kind of smirkey says "well, I was 500 feet from something". DH says, well, not from my house. The guy then says he was just flying low to let my kids know he was back. He said he wouldn't do it again, so hopefully he won't.  I really have no desire to look out my upstairs window and see a plane almost level with it! DH is also pretty sure this is the same plane who was flying low the other day with what looked like he was trying to do "tricks" and dh thought he wasn't going to make a sharp turn he did and get over the mountain across from us. DH said he suddenly made a sharp turn towards the mountain and then had to suddenly increase his altitude quickly.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Bonus room

Here is DH's progress in the bonus room so far:

We are getting the additional laminate to come out just a bit past the end of the bar. We have extra 1x6's of rough lumber from our trees cut and he will use those to cover horizontally on the sides of the bar, underneath where countertop will go. We haven't decided yet if we are going to make or buy something to put the little bar sink in. On either of the walls behind the bar area I'd like to see if DH can make some shelves hanging from ropes. Something similar to these:

He did get a little farther, after I took the picture above, he put the plywood sheeting on each side of the bar, to cover the studs. The only reason (LOL) he knows how to make this bar is that he watched our framer make the one in our kitchen. I thought he had a slab to use for the counter top, but he does not, so he's on the lookout for one. People advertise live edge slabs all the time around here on Marketplace or Craigslist, it will just be more of deciding what we are willing to pay for one, haha.

Pay day today. I finally set my tele/internet bill up on auto pay. I don't know why I hadn't ever done that, I have just about everything else on auto pay.  Holding back some in savings for upcoming summer propane fill - and then right after that will be the "winter pre-pay" bill. I called a few weeks ago to tell them I wanted to do the summer fill and they said the winter pre pay info/sign up will be sent out in August. I don't know when they are coming to fill up, as she asked how much we currently had left (40%) so she said since it wasn't too low, we'd be put on the schedule later. I think our neighbors do the same "program" as us, so they will most likely do it when they do both at same time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Floors and wills

When our flooring was installed we ended up with about 4+ boxes of the wood laminate leftover.  Rather than return the 4 full boxes, we opted to keep and eventually use some in our bonus room. DH wants to build a bar area up there (we had it plumbed for a sink) and use the hard flooring for that area where the bar will be. The rest will be carpeting (someday).

Yesterday he got the flooring put down. We had figured we didn't have quite enough to do the area we want, so first I called our flooring guy to make sure we can still buy more of this same stuff, before DH put it down. We changed a bit, so that the whole area coming into the room, in front of french doors, is laminate, so we will need a bit more extra than originally thought. We're going to need 5 more boxes. I can't remember exactly what they cost, but I'm thinking it was around in the $3.50 sf cost, so about $70 a box. DH is going to the lumber store today to get some 2x6's to build the frame for the bar. He will be building the whole bar and countertop (using leftover live edge slab) himself. Probably will take him all summer, LOL.

My uncle emailed me last night about his will and gave me the perfect opportunity to tell him my concerns about mom leaving him such a large inheritance at his age. He said he talked to mom last night and decided to take her off his will and have me as the primary beneficiary (with my 2 kids also getting some). Uncle does not have a wife or any children and my mom is his closest living relative, so he's always had her in his will. But, like he said - she doesn't need the money, so no real reason to leave it to her.  He wanted my full legal name and address. He doesn't/won't have a huge estate and more than likely as he ages and needs care, it will get used up for that then he will be on medicaid. So, I emailed him back and said I had also been doing some elder estate planning research and am reading it's not really a smart plan to leave a large inheritance to another elder person (well, other than a spouse, of course) as if that person is in nursing/assisted care and on medicaid (as my uncle will at some point be) then that inheritance he'd get from my mom would just go to the state/medicaid. That would be a dumb way to distribute her money, in my opinion. If there is anyway for her to leave him something without medicaid getting it, I'm all for that, but I doubt there is.  Uncle replied that makes sense. Also, from what I read, if he is on medicaid and gets an inheritance, then he would probably become ineligible for medicaid (then of course the money just going for his care costs until it ran out and he'd be back on medicaid)

I have my mom scheduled to get her new state "ID card" on Aug 12. Geez - I knew you had to make an appt. here to do that, but didn't think it would take a month to get an appt. So, I have her scheduled that day at 11am and I will just take the day off work. I'm sure she will probably need some form of ID to show, when we go see an attorney to change her will, so that will have to be done after that. But, at least it's scheduled now and I will get an attorney scheduled for later August.

I have a headache! LOL

Monday, July 13, 2020

Not again!

Just got another fraud alert text message from mom's bank/credit card. A $1 charge they put on hold to verify if fraud or not. Yes, of course it's fraud. So, here we go again with canceling the card and having to wait for them to send another new one. And here we go again with having to make sure she gets it in her mail so I can activate it and replace it with the last one (that she's had for like 10 days). UGH!!  Totally makes me wonder if it has anything to do with whoever she talked to for 20 minutes on Saturday. Wouldn't surprise me. I called the 1800 number she called on Saturday (blocked my phone id) and it was some "rewards center". Please hold and a representative will be with you. I'm sure that's who immediately called her back and she talked for another 10 minutes. Who knows if she gave them her cc #, but you wouldn't think they'd only do a $1 charge, if she did. And she's got her cell phone and internet set up to charge her credit card on 18th and 20th, so probably not going to get here in time to update those payments due with the new card# (again).

As if I don't already have enough to deal with and take care of.

My husband and technology drives me insane. He really has no clue and won't listen. And some things just seem like they would be common sense. Like take his 3 year old iphone 7s for instance. He takes TONs of pictures and also some videos. He deletes almost none of them. He has completely used up his storage/memory on his phone. I have said you need to delete photos and videos to make room. He doesn't want to delete anything. He doesn't want to back them up to his computer or external hard drive. I thought I had him explained that in order to take more pictures and videos he's going to have to. But, when you plug the iphone into the pc to copy photo's it does not show them in the "Albums" created on the phone. They are just in a big no sense order. I get that he wants to have them still in Albums to refer to. So, like the album of photos he has with all the pictures from building the chicken coop. He wants to be able to access the albums, if he can't save the albums on his phone.

So, I found a program that you can download (for $30 for a year subscription) that will copy over the albums to a pc. I copied over the chicken coop folder to my computer and also to the external hard drive. I gave him the external drive to have him access from him pc and see the folder and all the pics. Then I said "ok, now I'm going to delete these chicken coop pictures from your phone". Well, then he got mad because the pictures aren't there anymore in his phone! I'm like OMG! you HAVE to start deleting some of these. That's why you can't take any more pictures right now! Finally I get out of him that he thinks each picture is stored on his phone twice - once in his camera roll and then again in the album. So, if I just delete the album now, he's thinks he's got extra storage room, but still has the photo in his camera roll. No, that's now how it works. The "album" is basically just like a filtering system his iphone photos app has (that's why the albums won't show up when you plug the phone into the computer". So, he thought if I deleted the album, he'd still have the original photo in his camera roll. Sigh.......and you can't just calmly explain something to him. He gets all mad and frustrated and then tries to tell me I'm wrong.

I finally just picked up his phone and said your phone memory is FULL. It has reached it's max of pictures, videos, apps, etc it can store on it. Unless you delete (and save them somewhere else, if you still want copies) then you are done taking more pictures. If he just saved his videos to his computer/external hard drive that would probably free up plenty, as those are taking up the most room.

The icloud subscription wouldn't work either (that costs like $2 a month) because he still has to free up space on his phone memory, and if he deletes a picture or video then it deletes it from the cloud, is what I read. He has reached his phones max 32GB memory capacity. It's not that hard to understand! It's not like he needs to keep every single photo on his phone. I looked thru some recent ones and two were almost duplicate of each other and taken outside is really low light. delete them! it's not like he hasn't taken a 100 other photos of the front of our house that look the same!

So, after I deleted the pictures for that one Album (287 pictures) I figured that was a good start and he could at least take some pics again and I gave him his phone back to finish the task of copying albums to another time, when I wasn't in the middle of my work day. Well, his phone is doing the same thing. It will let him take one pic and then the next time it will tell him his memory is full. Same as it was doing before I deleted 278 pictures. Why? GRRR. So, now I'm just copying over all his videos (63) and will delete those and see how much room that clears up. Maybe then I won't need to delete any more photos, for awhile at least.

Monday update

Thank you to everyone for all your comments on my last post. I appreciate them all and will take into account. I really don't want to change my mom's will, other than the executor. It's just she keeps bringing up should she change the distributions. I just said to her well, in 2018 is when you changed it to how it is now (quite a change from previous), so you must have had your reasons. Unfortunately, she doesn't remember what made her decide to make the changes she did (though obviously it was BF and SB very involved). I do need to confirm with her investment/retirement account what they have on record as her beneficiaries. Don't need any big surprises there, that's for sure! It also doesn't make sense if her retirement account beneficiary's are different than her will distribution. I don't see the point in that.

I'm still researching using an identity/credit monitoring service. I also read an article that really the best/cheapest thing to do it just to freeze her credit with all 3 credit bureaus. And if she's giving someone her bank or credit card info over the phone to a scammer, not much can prevent that. Awhile back I did try to sign her up for the USPS informed delivery (I use that) but for some reason I can't get it to work for her.

Ok, remember Friday when I said that the asphalt paving company lady called DH and said they were coming out to do our neighbors resealing of their driveway and did we want to go ahead an have ours done for $2200? DH said to her I asked your husband when he here pouring it and he said it didn't need to be done for 3-5 years?? Then DH told her he'd talk to me. He either talked or texted with her a couple hours later on Friday and she said "I talked to my husband and he said you didn't need to have it done yet". (Ya, no kidding!!). So, yesterday morning the paving crew shows up to do neighbors and pulls into our driveway. DH thought either they wanted to park in our driveway. No, they said they were here to seal our driveway! They said Tina told them they were doing ours and neighbors. DH is like nooooo, you are not doing mine! WHAT IN THE HELL?! What is she trying to pull? DH is guessing that because they left their equipment parked on neighbors property for all that time it took to do ours (wasn't it like a week or 10 days?) he had said he told them he wanted them to reseal his driveway as compensation. Then he told DH something about it cost him $800 last time. Well, here's some math. Back when ours was being poured and DH asked owner guy when it needed to be resealed and what that usually costs, he said 3-5 years and $1400 (when she called he coudln't remember the quote, but then looked in his phone notes he made when her husband quoted him the time frame and amount). Then wife calls and wants to do ours for $2200.....We are guessing she was trying to get us to have it done for $2200 (not knowing her hubby said $1400), thereby paying for ours $1400 and neighbors freebie of $800. We are really not impressed with with this stuff she is trying to pull and when it does eventually need resealed we'll be calling someone else to do it. But, our neighbors driveway does sure look nice and new again. Glad they did it.

One of our neighbors dogs has been in some pain so they took her to the vet. DH was talking with Mr. and said that I give our dogs "something that works great" and had just started with our younger dog and he can tell it's helping. It's just cosequin ds for dogs. Our older dog has been on for years and I just started 8 year old dog on it. She texted to ask me what I give them so I texted a picture of the bottle. She later texted back that she already gives the dogs glucosamine, but their vet had said human kind was ok to give and she gets it cheaper at Costco. I thought, yes, that probably is a much cheaper way to do it. But, I did a little research and decided to stick with what I am using, as it obviously helps our older dog. The article said that while the main ingredient is the same in human and dog form, the other ingredients are not the same. Many of the human forms have zylitol and some even have chocolate for flavor. Plus the human forms are in a pill form, meant to be swallowed and digested by human digestive systems. Dogs digestive systems are not the same and the dog form is a chewable tablet for them, as well as formulated for their size/weight. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Our older dog will be 12 in October. While he spends most of his time laying around (as most dogs, haha) when he wants to play and run he has no problems doing so. He goes up and down the stairs almost as much as I do. He can jump up on our bed with no problem, so I'm going to just keep on doing what I've been doing and hope he has a couple more good years.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Money and planning questions

My plan, Saturday, was to get to my mom's about 10:30, stay thru lunch and then pick up my grocery order at Walmart at 1pm and head home. But, I waited too long Friday to put my order in online and then the earliest pick up time available was 3pm. Crud! So, I'm just got to her place right at lunch time (she usually has her meal come around 12:30) and stayed until about 2:45. I asked her if she needed any laundry done. She had mentioned last week she was going to go do some in the laundry room, but I had a feeling she didn't. She also for some reason thought she had to go down to 2nd floor. So, we walked down the hall (not far at all) and nothing was being used at the time, we went back and gathered up a load of whites in her new basket. Got the load going and went back to her apartment. She said "well, that was easy, I'm glad you went with me to show me". So, I have a feeling she just wasn't sure what to do, so has been avoiding it. We'll see. If she's still dragging her heels on it, I'll get the lady hired. We went back about 45 minutes later and moved it to the dryer. I think the hardest part for her will be remembering she has laundry being washed and dried! When I left she probably still had 10 or so minutes left in drying. I called her about half hour after I left to make sure she got it out of the dryer and she did.

I had delayed filing her tax return to the 7/15 deadline, since I was dealing with moving and everything else the past couple of months. I took her return to show her and she owes some so needed to get some money transferred from savings to checking. Needed to do that anyway by the end of the month to bring her balance back up for rent. I knew her checking balance was at about $2500, but her register said like $4400. So, I finally figured out what happened. When she added in her social security deposit last week, she made a math error.

Does anyone use those identity/credit protection services? I think I might sign her up for one of those. When I got there, she said someone had called and usually she hangs up but for some reason she talked to them. Something about sending her a $99 check to cash. She said she kept telling the lady she couldn't do anything without talking to her daughter. As I was going thru her desk papers and notes there was this postcard type thing that had come in the mail. I can't even remember now what was on it, I just know it was spam. When I got home I looked at her cell call log. She made a call to a 1800 number about 11am and talked for 10 minutes. Immediately after an unknown (spam according to google) number called her and she talked for another 10 minutes. OMG! I have a feeling she called the number on that card she got in the mail. I asked her if she gave them any banking or credit card info. She says no, but how do you talk to someone for 20 minutes and not  give out any info?! She is so anal about shredding any little piece of paper that has her name on it, yet will talk to someone on the phone she doesn't know about her private info. Just boggles the mind. Now I'm worried she gave out info to scam her. So, I'm wondering if something like LifeLock might be good to have for her.

We did discuss her will a bit. That's next on my list to do. At a minimum need to change the executor from SB to me. I still am not sure how/why she made the changes she did back in 2018 - and then there is this typed sheet of paper in her investment account folder in her cabinet that lists the beneficiaries of her account (which is like 95% of her money/estate), which I don't know if that is what is current or not. There is one that is "official" on UBS paperwork, but it is different. I know last summer she asked for DD's social security number, something about changing her will, but her will was not changed, only the beneficiaries. I need to look at that with UBS ASAP.  I may be wrong, but my understanding is if she dies, her retirement beneficiary list is paid out based on that, not her will. Then whatever is left in her "estate" gets distributed per the will.

I'm also not really thrilled with how much she is allocating to her brother. just seems strange to me that she would leave him that much (again this was something new she put in in 2018, prior to that he was not in her will). He is only 3 years younger than her. By the time she passes and then a year for a will to probate, geez - he probably will be in nursing home by then and not able to handle his money either. Just seems like a big mess in the making, if you ask me. And I guess in my limited experience of people and their wills, - they usually just leave it to their kids, split up. Not brothers, and grand kids, etc. I can see someone uber rich splitting up something that way, but not with this amount of money. I could see leaving him like $25k or something, but not potentially $300k (if she died tomorrow). He has no wife or kids, so who knows how his will is set up and who would potentially end up with all that money. Opinions, please.

She is so easily swayed, especially by my opinion, that I feel like I'm not letting her make a decision, if that makes sense. I know her BF was behind all these changes that got made 2 1/2 years ago, but of course now she doesn't remember when/why. She did get our her will to look at, and I showed her that SB is listed as executor. Then we went over the distribution and I also showed her the UBS "document" in her file, that doesn't match the will. Seems to me they should be the same (since the UBS $ is 95% of her estate). First thing she says (with zero prompting from me, I was not saying anything) is SB and his siblings should be taken off "I never hear from them anymore". They are each only listed at 2.5% so nothing major. But, then she said well, since they are J's kids (my adopted step dad) she should probably leave them something. I agreed and said she should just leave it as she has it. (let's also add that each of them is already way richer than she is, so not like they need the money).

Her UBS beneficiary list (just a typed up sheet, not official document in her file) was set up 40% me, 30% her brother, 10% my son, 10% my dd, and 2.5% each of my 4 step siblings.  Her will (2018) is set up 60% me, 30% her brother and 2.5% each of 4 step siblings.

Also, current will that lists SB as executor, has her brother as alternate. Trying to decided if we should leave him as alternate. Again, my concern is his age. At some point in the near future (as he's nearing his 80's) he will end up in nursing care, himself. I do not see it a good idea to have him as potential executor. Thinking of just putting my DD as alternate. She'd probably do better at it than me, haha.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Frustrating Friday

My uncle texted me this morning. He said my Mom called him about 10 minutes earlier, at 7:40 this morning (6:40 his time) and said she didn't sound very well, would I call her and check on her? I called her and she seemed ok when she answered hello. I told her uncle just called because he said you called him a few minutes ago and he was worried you didn't sound well. It sounds like she must have just woke up and had been dreaming something or thinking about something and thought she needed to call him. Something about money lent or owed (and only $10 at that) but she said she must have been dreaming something, she wasn't really sure. But, she sounded alert and not confused 10-15 minutes later when I alled. She did that one of the mornings she stayed with me. She came out of the bedroom (obviously had just woken up) and asked if she needed to call down and tell them she wanted (or didn't want, I can't recall now) breakfast? When I replied, then she said "oh, I must have been dreaming about it when I woke up". Then she was fine.

So, when we had our driveway paved (that was a BUTTLOAD of money) dh asked when it would/should be re-sealed coated. He was told not for 3-5 years and the company owner told him $1400. Our neighbors are planning to have theirs done by them. The owners wife (she does the bids and such) just called DH and said while they are out in our area and a neighbors doing some other sealcoats, did we want ours done? They would do it for $2250. DH is like what?! It's brand new! I was told 3-5 years and she's like "no, it should be done right away". I'm like we just paid $$K fricken dollars to have brand new asphalt poured and we're now supposed to add another $2250 to the cost of it? Hell No! What in the hell?! DH looked up info on sealcoating asphalt and he just read it should not be done on newly poured asphalt for at least 6 months, to allow the oils to do whatever. What a scammer! DH told her probably not, but he'd talk to me (money boss). I swear to God, if he tries to talk me into this because he's feeling pressure from her I'm going to come unglued. If that needed to be sealed within a month after pouring we should have been told that and included in their original/bid estimate. I am so sick of people!

I'm trying to get payroll done this morning. Everyone's hours are messed up because for some reason the 7/3 holiday is showing as Sat and Sun 7/4 and 7/5. We aren't even open on weekends. The payroll advisor told me it was fixed, and it was - for about the first 14 employees, but when I got to the 15th (I was double checking everyone) no one after that was fixed.

I'm going to get serious about stocking up pantry and freezer. Things are going to get worse, no matter which guy ends up in the oval office come November. I need to start making lists and trying to figure out how much we need of things for at least 6 months on hand.  I'll have to start doing some calculations on how much I actually use per week, etc. A few weeks or a month or two supply isn't enough.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Dogs, books, eggs and friends

A quiet neighbor dog day again, so they must have their son's 2 dogs crated inside the house. Though late yesterday afternoon Mr. had to run to a meeting and texted DH "sorry, I had to run to a meeting and didn't get time to crate the dogs", so they barked awhile, until Mrs got home. As she's pulling in her driveway the dogs are going nuts and she's pulling in, yelling at them to stop. We were outside and looked at each other and said "she doesn't even like it for a minute - try listening to it on and on". Speaking of good's one of ours. Such a good boy. He will just sit there and wait for DH to come back out of the shop

Most months I try to remember to get my free kindle book from Amazon First Reads. Some months I forget about it. This month is 2 free books. Get yours, if you use this service, free with Amazon Prime membership :)

As I was driving back from town the other day I drove past the little place of the retired couple who have moved here from near where we used to live. I'm guessing they are around 70. They have a little piece of property (that does have a view of river). They live in an RV, but the little property did come with a detached garage. But, as I'm driving by it makes me wonder what they do to keep themselves busy. Maybe the guy does stuff in the little garage/shop. There isn't much that can be done in a small rv trailer. I'd think. Watch tv, read, or be on a laptop/computer. There isn't any yard in, so no yardwork or gardening, it doesn't appear. They did have built a cover over their rv (for winter snow, I'm sure) and do have a picnic table and some chairs also set out under it, so they do have an outside dining/seating area to sit at. Just made me wonder what they do to keep themselves busy and entertained while retired. I could see doing the rv thing if you traveled a bit with it or maybe split time between cold and warm climates, but they live here year round.

I must have really small openings to my ears, LOL. My ear buds stopped working. They were the kind that have the little soft rubber buds. So, I dug out the ear buds that came with my iphone. Those kind with the hard plastic buds. They are too big for my ears. They won't stay in and keep falling out. Guess I'll have to order some new ones of the other kind.

DH got the water sediment filters changed. I need to order some more and now can't find/remember where I ordered them from before. Usually I try to save links to stuff like that in a folder named HOUSE.

My friend I got the chickens from texted me yesterday. She got her first 2 eggs! She kept 7 of the chickens (her mom and I took the rest). I'm patiently waiting for my eggs. LOL.

Our "loud" friend called dh yesterday. He's the one that bought a place about 2 hours from us. It's like 38 acres with an unfinished 2 bedroom log home (basically the shell). He paid around $200k for it last summer. He calls dh and says "Trulia says my place is now worth over a million dollars!". DH is like what? how? LOL. He's not a guy you try to tell different. He hangs up and goes to his address for Trulia and all the other real estate sites. Value is still low 200's. LOL. I'm like his value is not going to increase a million dollars! What a dork. He's done a little bit of work, but several thousands worth. Not enough to increase the value very much. He thinks because of that show Yellowstone his value increased a million dollars in a year. Too funny. We are guessing he might have accidentally been looking at one of his nearby neighbors places value, haha. And honestly, if his value had increased like that, he'd have it listed for sale faster than he could have called DH up about it. LOL

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Tried to have a good day

I'm standing in the kitchen making lunch yesterday. DH looks out the window and says "neighbor's lawn service guy is there now". (long story, LOL). Five minutes later I go back up to my desk and an ad for TruGreen lawn service is showing on my Facebook feed. DH goes back and looks at the name on the truck at neighbors, same company.....I really hate these "coincidences" that happen all the time now, every time we talk about something in our own home.  Makes me just want to toss my phone in the river.

Around 8:30 last night I decided to have a bowl of cereal. Just as I was finishing it, the last bite didn't go down quite right. I was trying to cough, clear my throat. Then more coughing. I HATE coughing. It makes me throw up if it keeps on. Plus, then from the coughing my nose starts running and sinus's are dripping into my throat, making it worse. I head into the bathroom to get tissues and try to take a sip of water. Then another cough and that was all she wrote. Emptied my stomach. Usually I only have this problem on some mornings every so often, when I get up and my sinus start draining and makes me start coughing. It usually helps if I blow my nose as soon as I get up in the morning.

Yesterday was peace and quiet with the neighbor dogs. I thought their new "plan" worked and commented to DH and he laughed and said no, Mr. has been home all day. Today through Friday will be the test as he is gone until 2pm each day, but so far it's been good.

I follow UPS Dogs on Facebook. But, this morning I'm looking more at the picture of how/where the driver had to pull in his big truck and walk to deliver the package, LOL. His truck is parked in the street, then there are 2 cars parked in a driveway area, and then there is a gate in front of the cars with more driveway/parking area to get to the house. A bit of a walk to deliver. Why am I noticing this? Because Monday night we had a UPS delivery, it was after 8:30pm (I do not like them coming that late). The driver was an idiot. Not our normal driver, this is the driver who delivers in town (we used to have him when we lived in town, so he's not inexperienced at all). We have two driveway entrances into our property. The first (would seem the logical one to use, especially for a big truck) pulls in front of the shop and the driveway arcs in a half circle and goes back out the other driveway. Makes for a nice easy in and out for a truck. Or it turns and follows next to the driveway pads in front of the shop and then the garage and turns in front of our front door walkway. Then it keeps turning the corner and goes back out to meet up with the second driveway. (So, there's an island in the middle).

This guy pulls in the 2nd driveway. And instead of just stopping in the wide, easily maneuverable arc area and getting out and walking the package up to the door, he continues on, swings wide and drives right across all our colored concrete/stamped concrete borders of our parking areas. DH was so mad (yes, he's picky about keeping things looking nice). Then of course the guy couldn't get the big truck around the corner to leave, so then he had to back up again across the garage parking pads. Our normal delivery guy had told DH awhile back that they are instructed not to drive their trucks on people's parking areas, they get too many complaints.

Here's my cartoon drawing of our driveway. The black ink is where the usual/smart drivers pull in. The blue ink is where this driver came in and drove.

I'm not very to scale, LOL, but there really isn't that much room between the island and the shop parking pads. So, now we've got truck tire marks going horizontal across all the parking pads and stamped concrete borders that are on each side of each parking space. Anyway, in this UPS dogs picture, this driver appears to have to get out, walk up the parking area of this place, open a gate, walk up some more parking area.....exactly what our driver should have done.  If we ever get our fence and gates up DH is just putting a box out at the gate for delivery drivers to use.

I try to look at my mom's retirement investment account at least once a month. I must be hitting it on the good days, haha. I think at some point soon, she may go over 1 million dollars, in total. She is currently at $986k, counting that money and her other checking and savings accounts.

DH was texting with our guy who did our mason work. He's a southern guy, originally. He calls the virus "Cooties-19". I thought that was pretty good. I was telling DD that, and she said she called that CHAZ/CHOP area in Seattle "CHAD" - Capital Hill Autonomous Douchebags. She nailed that one. I went into our towns small grocery store yesterday to drop of something to mail UPS (returning the bank papers I had to sign that were delivered in above driveway story). I grabbed some strawberries and ice cream bars, while in there. Our town is majority older, retired folks. The store was pretty busy at the time (lunch hour) and out of all those older folks (me included, haha!) I saw only one wearing a mask. I think people around here are just over it. (we have never had a case in our county)

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Tuesday this and that

When I was at my mom's on Thursday I checked to see if her replacement credit card came. I asked her again on Friday. I just asked her yesterday afternoon and she said no, but she hadn't gone down to get her mail yet. Then she's going over some papers on her desk, asking me about them and says "and this one that says "your new contactless credit card". LOL. Ya...that's it! haha. So, I got all the info off of it and activated it online and updated her 2 monthly bills that get charged to it. I was really afraid she was going to think it was junk mail and toss it.

Neighbor texted me back around noon yesterday "we are really sorry. Son gave us some ideas to try". Well, if they worked, they'd probably have kept the dogs themselves, eh? Not to mention it'll now be "we're trying this"....and we put up with it another week or so...then "we're now trying this". Like I mentioned in a comment to someone on the last post - if a neighbor complained to us about something we'd take care of it the first complaint.

Then Mr. neighbor texted dh last night that their son told them to put their 2 dogs in crates downstairs in their basement when they are gone from home, as that is what they did with the 2 dogs when they would leave the house. If that doesn't work, he will come over and get the dogs. Well, it should work fine for us. We aren't going to hear the dogs barking inside their house all day. Mrs won't like keeping the dogs cooped up like that all day (let alone if it's too long for them to need to go pee), so we'll see how it works for them. Sad for the dogs, as this will be their life for 3-5 days a week, while they are at work. (Mr. works various p/t jobs).

Our property tax appraisal came. This state updates every 2 years, with semi annual payments in November of one year and May the next year. So, thru this past May's payment, we were only paying on our land value, assessed 2 years before, when nothing was built yet. So, in my last December's annual escrow reconciliation I got a refund back of almost $2600, rather then them adjusting my payment down. The new assessment report gives our estimated annual property taxes starting next November;s payment. Using my mortgage company's annual escrow disclosure statement and projected amounts from last year, I am trying to get an estimate of what the one next December will say. I still should get a large refund again, since May's disbursement to property tax was only $327. I'm estimating a refund check of about $1500 in December. Then things should start leveling out and actually our payment the next year should go up, as our actual property taxes look like they will be about $83/mo higher than what escrow has been estimating. Or maybe they apply the refund amount towards the higher then projected taxes for the next year and if so then I'd guess the refund to be $500. I've always been so confused by those annual escrows, how one year it will send you a refund and then the next seem to owe/higher payment.

We had quite the thunder and lightning storm around 4:30 this morning. And rain. We don't usually get rain with summer thunder and lightning.

Our county is a mess with our small sheriff's dept. Our undersheriff just retired and our head sheriff resigned this week, as well as 2 deputies and 2 dispatchers quit. I think we now have a few deputies left at this point. The pay they all get is totally pathetic. It's no wonder they can't keep anyone (though the sheriff is an elected position, this is the second one to resign in the past 3 years). Yet our county council people don't do much of anything and make like $40k a year to work one or two days a week. I was texting with my friend in town (she has lived here her whole life) and she confirmed it's the council that is worthless. They don't want to do the work or make decisions. She said she has been considering running. I told her she'd have our vote! She's not afraid to speak up or give her opinion, LOL. We haven't had our jail running for a year or two. Like DH said - if we have no jail and no sheriff dept, we should get our taxes lowered, LOL. I texted my friend "geez. they aren't supposed to defund themselves!".

DH called fence guy he's saying next month. Good grief. DH is considering just putting the materials (sitting covered, on our property, already paid for) on marketplace/Craigslist and just scrapping the project. But, we already have the gate piers, so looks pretty dumb with piers and no gate or fence.

Our lawn is looking so good. After doing that fertilizing it has all turned the same color of green and the seeded (and then reseeded) parts are filling in thicker and starting to blend in where the sod edges end.

I have to run into town to mail a UPS letter package today. My side job is adding me to one of their checking accounts as a signer and the banker sent me the signature forms via UPS and included a UPS labeled envelope to mail back. I think I can drop off at our grocery store, they have a desk to mail packages. While in town I'm going to stop at the propane place. Received a postcard in the mail yesterday that they are having a drawing for 200 free gallons of propane and to drop the card in their office by 7/23. Might as well enter!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Summer time

Back to work this morning. I didn't realize my boss took this week off, LOL. Should make for a fairly quiet week for me (as long as she stays vacationing and not working, haha). My email backup wasn't too bad, considering. Took me less than 3 hours to get through. Nobody working Friday probably helped.

I think our grass grew 2 inches over night. DH didn't mow yesterday and decided to wait until today. Between the great watering our sprinkler system is doing and the sunny warm days, it's growing fast. It seems to take him about 2 hours to mow it all. Some parts he has to use the gas push mower and some parts he can use the big riding mower.

And the damn neighbor dogs! OMG. Their son's 2 dogs have been barking non stop this morning, which then of course gets their 3 dogs started barking. and then it gets worse if we even step outside. It's summer time. We want to be outside. We want to step out on our back patio or do yard work. Neighbor lady is always outside when she is home, during summer days, working on her yard. I highly doubt she'd like to spend her gardening time outside listening to our dogs bark the whole time. DH told Mr. on Saturday that the days he was at work (and she works Mon-Fri) last week they barked a whole bunch, but when he's home, of course they are fine. I guess that wasn't the hint enough that when they both went to work today, we were going to have to listen to dogs barking. Mr. said something about the big dog is just too much for his son and DIL with the small boys (4 of them). I sent her a text this morning that just said "we have tried to ignore it as best we can, but your son's dogs (I want her to know it's those dogs causing the barking) have been barking all morning, which then causes your dogs to join in." Yes, lets all just sit and listen to 5 dogs barking and barking.

Even before the addition of the son's 2 dogs, whenever one of them gets home of course the dogs bark, because they are happy to see them. It's normal for dogs and of course it only lasts a minute or two. They pull in with their window rolled down telling the dogs to stop barking. Or if they bark at something while they are home, they open the back door and quickly correct them. They don't like listening to the barking, even for a minute! Well, geez...imagine listening to it for hours...... I really just don't know what they expected it was going to be like, adding 2 more dogs, making 5 dogs total. It's not like we haven't been through this the past 2 summers, either. How about they just tell their son, "sorry, we have neighbors now and having your dogs here every summer is just too disruptive, since we can't be home with them all the time." Blame it on the covenants. (2 dogs max) I don't care! Make their 36 year old son and his wife responsible for their own dogs. So tired of listening to them bark and so tired of having to complain about it! I don't understand why it's so hard to just be a respectful neighbor to others.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Wrapping up the week off

It was a quiet 4th of July. Perfect! Around 9 or 9:30 heard a few fireworks off in the distance, for not more than a couple of minutes. SO much better than where we lived for so many years. It was literally like being in a war zone for about 8 hours into the wee hours of the morning. I always hated it.

I made the peach cobbler yesterday morning and the size/amount of peaches was just the right amount for 4 cups needed. Peeling 8 peaches was not my idea of fun. I tried doing the boiling and then in cold water, but didn't seem to help much. Then my neighbor texted she had some deer repellent spray for me. I texted back if they like peach cobbler I have some to share with them as soon as it cools down and I'll bring it over and get the repellent. I also took them some of the homemade ice cream. She said to just keep the repellent as she had this extra sprayer she didn't use. I sprayed it around all our plants and shrubs, so hopefully it will work. Stinky stuff! LOL.

After lunch we decided to take a little drive. Not too far. There is this rv community that has been developing the past few years and it sounds like most of the lots in it have sold. We've noticed much more traffic on our main road out front, than previous years, probably due to that place. We had driven in there a few years ago, but only like 2 lots were sold, so we just wanted to see what it looks like now. Quite a few people with their rv's living in there, as well as a few with park models.

Then we drove over to this other neighborhood where quite a few homes are that I had never driven back in (one way in and out). I didn't realize there were so many homes back there. DH said he remembers looking at a couple of places for sale online when we were looking, but there were too many junky homes. There are a few decent homes, but surrounded by a lot of junk. Not what we were looking for.

Lastly, we drove into this other neighborhood of small acreages on the other side of the river. We had also looked at property there and a few had already built (so this was in 2016). Again, we opted out because there were no covenants and too easy chance of another junkyard being next to us. I wanted to see if very many more houses ever got built back there. There are some. Most look pretty decent. One really nice place on 9 acres.

I took a short nap when we got home, then made dinner of hamburgers and baked beans. We sat out on the front patio awhile (cooler out there than in back, where the sun was still making it 84). Then my mom called a little before 8. She had messed up her tv again. She keeps changing the "input" off of HDMI and losing her cable tv. I finally at least figured out how to get it back to HDMI (I had to google her remote, haha). She needed to press "input" twice. Then tv came back on but for some reason she could not get it to any channels. I spent like another half hour trying to help her. And if I had her turn tv off and back on it would just go back to where it last was - which appeared to be a guide that was like 15 hours in the future. It wouldn't even let her just type in like 8 on her remote and hit ok, to change the channel. I have no idea. So frustrating.  I'll see if I can help her some more today over the phone with it, otherwise she'll have to call down to the front desk and see if someone can help her figure it out. But at least now, when she gets it off the HDMI input setting I know how to tell her to get it back. Next visit. I'll try to figure out more how her guide/remote works for getting to channels (can it be any different than any other?! LOL) so I can help her over the phone easier.

Today, last day off. I really need to mop my floors. Been going to do it every day and end up doing something else. I think DH will be out mowing today, so it will be a good time to do it.