Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Stocking up

Ever since the toilet paper shortage last spring, we have been gradually stocking up. While we ended up having enough to get us through until it started becoming more available again, who knew at the time how long that craziness would last? So, rather than my usual buy a case every 2nd or 3rd grocery trip, I now just buy a case every time. DH said he's running out of room in the shop bathroom haha. He's got the shower stacked, but like I told him, we have oodles of other places to place it, as well as other supplies, when push comes to shove.

Currently we have 3 months of dog food on hand. Though I only have a little over a month supply of the Cosequin DS I give them both. I should probably start ordering extra next couple of orders. I have the dog food on auto subscription with Amazon, so that's easy to just maintain that 3 month supply. Our UPS guy will text dh that he's 5 minutes out, so dh can meet him at the gate. When he delivered Monday he texted "5 minutes out with dog food" LOL.

I just bought 3 tubes of toothpaste when I was at Target the other day. I was going to get 2, but it was buy 3 get a $5 giftcard. A 50 lb bag of chicken feed last me about 3 months and I just bought one and still have probably a couple weeks worth in the bin. I was also going to get some more chicken coop pine shavings, but they were out, so I'll have to try next time. I have enough for 2 more cleanings, so I'm good for now.

DH really needs something to do, but he won't pay these lumber prices for his projects to do. From what I recently heard, it's only going to get worse. It's still way too early for him to start mowing the lawn and keeping busy with that. Yesterday he did do a few "maintenance" type things in the house. Replaced the furnace filters, glued in 2 little wood plugs that fell out of my new chairs in the loft, and fixed my office door. That door has never shut properly from day one. He figured out that they had put one of the hinges on backwards. 

Still quiet/no barking, since they are crating the 2 extra dogs when they aren't home. Thank God! I'm pretty sure if we added barking dogs to the 2 gun shooters, dh would lose it. When we were chatting with Mrs on Sunday she mentioned someone set up their camper trailer about a mile down the road, just off the road on a little strip of (state) land. DH said, oh no. It's probably the same group that was going from spot to spot (they aren't  at campsites) and camping/ie. living for as long as they could and would leave garbage every where at each spot. They kept getting run out and would just move around the whole county. DH drove down there and sure enough it's same camper as last year. I wouldn't have a problem of them camping, but pick up your damn garbage! 

Today is payday. Gosh I feel rich, haha. My checking balance just keeps growing, but a good chunk of it's going away at some point. The big payment to my mortgage principal, and also the cabinet for the laundry room and the addition to the HVAC system to bring the humidity level down.  

I was signing the front (I'm an account signer) of my side job check and then signing the back for deposit. I used to have such nice cursive writing! I even did calligraphy for years. Now, with my carpal tunnel my signature looks so sloppy. I hate it. It was too many years of data entry type work and then years of being a score keeper for our kids races, where the laps were written by hand and fast. Some days I'd finish up the race day and could barely write anything. I'm pretty sure all the race scoring is what did my wrist in.

My mom mentioned again this weekend about writing a check for her rent and I had to remind her that no more checks for that, so it hasn't stuck yet. I'll remind her when I call tomorrow morning.

I need to give my new Home Depot credit card a call. When I applied for it online, it said I was supposed to get $50 off the purchase of my patio set, but it didn't. Maybe it shows up as a credit later, on my account, but so far not. I want to make sure I get that credit, as that's the only reason I applied for it, haha. It's strange though, it shows the order has shipped and in transit, but the charge isn't showing up yet, it's still pending.

Friday is a quarterly online company meeting. Finally, I'll get to join in with both video and audio on my end, now that I have the webcam on my computer. Guess I'd better do make up. LOL!



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tackling Tuesday

It seems like I have heard, often, that when elderly people lose their short term memory they still can remember things from the past quite well. My mom really can't remember much from the past anymore either. I mean, she can remember general things, mostly names and who/what the relationship is, but other than that she doesn't seem to hardly bring up past memories. The one she does seem to remember is trying smoking, as a young teen, but that's about the only ones she's brought up several times. She'll be commenting on how she's glad she's pretty healthy for her age and glad she didn't smoke and then tell the story about trying it as a young teen. I did at least try to ask her if she remembered why her mom had to have the colostomy bag, but of course, she had a total blank on it. When my MIL started having cognitive problems in her last year or so, I remember dh asking her if she remembered the house she grew up in. He was trying to find it on google, but didn't have enough info on where it was. He asked her on the phone and she rattled off that address like she lived there yesterday.

Surprise, the cabinet lady actually updated me in an email. She said the cabinet is supposed to ship on 4/19 and when she gets confirmation, she will call me to schedule the install. 

The neighbors at least remembered what worked for the barking dogs last time they had their son's dogs and went right back to crating them inside the house, while they are gone. Last time they had them and we listened to them bark for a week and finally complained they asked their son for suggestions and he said they always crate the dogs when they aren't home. I was noticing yesterday how quiet it was over there and then I remembered, oh ya, they had started crating them, last time, so thankfully they are doing that again. 

I logged into my old mortgage account again, and now see that my escrow balance is showing zero, so the check must be on it's way. It's showing a transaction date of 3/26. Yay. As soon as that comes, I'll make a big payment with all my "excess" funds: the closing $, the title co refund, the escrow refund, and the 4/1 payment I don't have to make, as my first payment is due 5/1. That will be over $7000 to principal and then on 5/1 I'll start with my first payment, but I am going to pay what my old mortgage payment was each month, or try to as often as possible.

Boy, what a change in weather in 24 hours or so. We went from 63 during the day Sunday to last night a low of 20. It's supposed to warm back up later this week. Gradually we are getting towards spring. I'm anxious to get the little patio dining set I ordered, but shipping shows it's taking 3 weeks. I guess it comes from China, LOL.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Interupted Monday

Back to Monday again. Saturday evening, dh was good and put some of his youtube videos on the tv, from our house build, and showed my mom and he told her about it all, so that kept us occupied for the evening. I was planning to take her back home after we had lunch yesterday, but after about the 3rd time that morning she asked me when I was taking her back and kept saying "oh, you can take me back now, if you want", I said ok. Plus, we were expecting a big windstorm that they changed from starting 9pm Sunday, to 3pm, so figured it best I get back home before then.

She also asked me numerous times Friday and Saturday what time she was going home again. I can't remember who mentioned it before, but they had said as their parent got older it just got easier to go visit them, rather than having them come to their place. They get used to their surroundings and routine and it's hard for them to change it up. Saturday morning she called her boyfriend and then my uncle to say hi.. Then did it again in the afternoon as she forgot she had called them. I could hear my uncle a bit through her phone and he just went along with acting like she hadn't just called him a few hours earlier.

So, we left at 10:15 and this time I remembered to make sure she had her keys in her purse. Last time she moved them from her purse to her suitcase for some reason. But, I neglected to make sure her mask was in her purse. UGH. So, we were stopping at Walgreens first, to get her some advil and no mask. What in the world?!! She had it on when I picked her up Friday, where else would she have put it, but her purse? I went to the back of the car and searched through her suitcase, thinking it of course must be in there, but nope. No mask to be found. So, I just went in the store and got the advil (faster that way anyway). Then the 3 blocks to her apartment she's worrying about no mask and I kept telling her that the front desk has some disposable ones at the desk. As we are pulling in she is trying to put a small tissue under her glasses rim! I said that's not going to protect you, so don't bother, I'll go grab one inside at the desk. LOL. One of these days I'm going to remember to be prepared for both keys and mask BEFORE we leave my house. We go through this every time.

The windstorm never amounted to much, though we did have some windy periods. I was almost kind of hoping we'd lose our power a bit this morning and I'd have a bit of time to still rest up from the weekend, LOL. 

But, our Mr Neighbor just about burned down everything! Don't know what he was thinking but later yesterday morning he decided to start a brush fire! He was over on the other side of his house, in the natural rough area between his 2 lots. DH was like what is he thinking doing this when high winds are predicted and it's already a bit windy out? Next time dh goes outside to walk to his shop he sees the whole dang field area burned!! The fire got away from him. Geez Louise!! he could have burned us all down (well, not their house, it's concrete).

So, we were chatting with Mrs. Neighbor after this, as I was giving her some eggs. She brought up that her son sold their rental house, so they did buy the land about an hour or so from us. Apparently the earliest they would/could move here is next May, for him to do a job transfer, so obviously they aren't selling the house they live in why are their dogs here then? We didn't ask.

Just as I was typing this out this morning, our power went out. No wind or nothing, LOL. Until almost 2pm.  Guess I got what I wished for, got to take a nap, haha. Mostly I just read a book I'm reading. I know there was more I was going to write about, but 5 hours later I can't remember now. Guess I'll remember after I hit publish, so I will add it to the next post.


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Saturday this and that

My 4 slice toaster apparently is toast now. The past few mornings it doesn't want to toast the english muffins very well. I see that the heating elements on the insides aren't getting red. It warms up a bit, but not really working. So, time for a new toaster. Since I was heading into the city yesterday afternoon to pick up my mom and pick up groceries, I picked up a toaster. Target only has one 4 slice toaster in store and it's $69, Cuisinart. Walmart only has a Black and Decker one for  $28. Then I remembered I have a  $43 Target gift card to use, so I decided to order that nice one from them and pick it up. It worked great this morning and looks nice sitting on the counter since it's not old and worn out looking, LOL.

I had several stops to make. Home Depot to pick up light bulbs I ordered. Target for the toaster. Then my mom. Then Walmart for groceries and then near Walmart is our hvac place and I picked up some filters for our furnace. When I take her back Sunday I'm going to stop at the feed store and get chicken feed and coop bedding. I'll probably stop and look for another plant or two at Home Depot or Lowes. And get a few things Walmart was out of on my order. The organic 1/2 gallons of milk I like, peanut butter and dh's hostess cupcakes.

The calf cowhide rug I ordered came yesterday. While it's nice and lovely color and markings it was a bust for where I was thinking of using it. Just way too small. I guess I should have thought/measured that one through better.

Apparently, I need full sized for this area. So......what to do with this then? After trying it in various places this is what I decided on and actually quite like it.

I had time before I picked up my mom, so I stopped in Ross, but no luck in any decor items. As I was parking I noticed a TJ Maxx store down aways. I guess I never noticed it before. I texted DD and asked her what it was like and she said like a more expensive Ross, so I walked over there and took a look. Oooh! It was like a much nicer Ross and way more decor stuff and all organized really nice. I picked up this little bird figurine for $6. She found a home on the new plant stand I got.

It's going to be kind of a long day, haha. I was standing in the kitchen sink yesterday when mom came out of the guest bathroom and asked "do I leave this door open or shut?"....I quickly looked down and grabbed the rooster kitchen towel I have draped over the edge of the sink for decor and put in in the drawer, LOL. At least while I had to answer the bathroom door question 4 more times, I didn't have to answer if it was ok to use that towel (though there is another hand towel folded on the counter next to the sink).

I think I'll get out a puzzle just for something to do. And I plan to make some cupcakes today. The weather is predicting a big wind storm Sunday night/Monday morning which means will probably lose power, so we are going to be prepared. I went ahead an processed my side jobs payroll this morning instead of Monday, when I was going to do it. We will get the tub filled with water.  In the meantime today and tomorrow is a sunny and 52 degrees out.

So far mom hasn't asked about her checkbook register, so if we can make it 27 more hours, I'll still have it, haha! Though if she does ask, I'll just do my best to defer/change the subject and she will totally forget about it within a minute or two.

I asked her a couple questions about her new boyfriend, but she doesn't really remember what he's told her. I asked if he has a car and she said he did, so maybe that will be good where they can get out and about together sometimes (if he really does have one). From what I can find out about him (Facebook and zabasearch LOL) he is 80 years old. She thought he just moved in there a few months ago. Mom has always been one that has to have a man in her life. She's been married 3 times and it wasn't long after my (step)dad passed away that she got her previous boyfriend. I was really hoping she'd just find a few lady friends to pass the time with. Mostly now I just worry with her memory so bad, getting that close to someone in a relationship type thing, she could get taken advantage of. Even more glad I have eyes and control over her money.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Just great

Just got the news this evening that starting this weekend neighbors will be back to 5 dogs again, as of course their son and his wife don't want the dogs while they are trying to sell their house. Which then of course will turn into they are building their new house and can't have the dogs. My guess is it's going to be at least a year they will have the extra dogs.


Bird bathers

Yesterday afternoon, I was in one of the bedrooms upstairs next to my office and petting the dog laying on the bed and kept hearing this little noise from outside. I looked out and there were 2 cute Western Bluebirds on the gutter and apparently there was a little rainwater left in the gutter, so they were jumping down in the gutter and taking a bath, LOL. I'd love to get the birdbath out, but it's still freezing at night and I don't want freezing water to break the birdbath. 

Mr. Neighbor isn't usually home very often during the weekdays (and his wife doesn't get home from work until 6pm and half the time they are gone on weekends, too) as he's gone doing his various p/t jobs he has. Well, he was home yesterday morning because he had a guy coming to give him a quote on adding a sprinkler system to the lawn area (another story) he put in on the other side of our fence last summer. He had asked dh to come over, too, so they could explain to the guy what our sprinklers on our side of the fence would reach to (or something like that). 

Anyhow - while they were outside doing that the "reloader gun guy" on the hill across the little valley area starts up. I'm not sure Mr. Neighbor has ever been home when these shots start going off during the day, randomly. When he heard it he was like "holy $h&t!!". Dh said yep, just wait a minute or two, or maybe 15 minutes, you never know when, but there will be more. This went on for a couple hours yesterday. DH measured the distance from his place to ours using google maps and it's only 3200 feet, a little over half a mile. Basically we've got the river, a pasture field, the freeway, another wider pasture/field and then back up to hills/mountain terrain. On the other side of us is a steep cliff walled mountain that echos everything.

And this guy seems to be doing this almost daily now. (at least the other guy only does his shooting once or twice a week and not usually longer than half hour). What the hell is wrong with people that they think it's ok to just disrupt the lives and peace of those around them, so they can just do whatever they feel like doing? Go get on one of the numerous forest service/logging roads all over here and drive a couple miles up into the mountains, where there is nothing and no one living up there and have your fun. Like one of our friends said, who can afford to go through that much ammo on a daily basis? And friend said he does reloading too, but the supplies now are hard to come by and expensive. But, I'm glad Mr. Neighbor was finally home to hear it. At least now dh doesn't feel like he was overreacting to it. Can you imagine if everyone around here just started doing what those 2 guys do?? I guess Mr. Neighbor was serious when he said, if he is home when the guy down river starts emptying his mags, he's going to start shooting too, because he said he put his gun by his bed and Mrs. asked him what the heck he was doing?!

A cousin messaged me, asking what info I had on the health history of our grandparents. Her mom (the ex-wife of my other (deceased) uncle) thought my grandma had colon cancer. My cousin said she was having genetic testing done because she just got diagnosed with breast cancer and they are asking her family history. I said grandma had breast cancer and a double mastectomy when she was around 80 years old, but no colon cancer that I know of. She said her mom thought that was why grandma had to have a colostomy bag. I said no, I'm almost positive that was due to a surgery she had had to fix a prolapsed bladder and something went wrong and when she was in recovery from that surgery she started crashing and they rushed her back into surgery and as a result of all that she needed the colostomy bag. Of course my mom would be the one who would know all the details, but no memory now to know, I'm sure. I'll ask her this weekend, but doubt she will remember anything about it. I emailed my uncle, thinking he might remember, but he said he doesn't. I also told her that grandpa had prostate cancer and had his removed and she wanted to know what year, but I have no idea what year that was. He was probably in his mid to late 60's is my guess, it was after he retired. That's the best I can help her out with. Cousin said right now it's sounding like she will have a lumpectomy, but I'm guessing the genetic testing would determine whether they end up recommending mastectomy. Hopefully she'll recover 100%, she is 51 years old. DH was wondering what purpose knowing what cancers your grandparents had and when, at this point? Regardless, she has it and it needs to be treated.

My garbage service is due quarterly and I can never remember which month's it's due. I do usually get an email reminding me, but I was working on my budget and logged in to see if it's due in April. Well, apparently I forgot I had set up auto pay, so the payment in February got paid twice and I have a credit balance now, so no payment will be due in May. I'm surprised I didn't catch that on my credit card, but there it is, 2 payments on the same day, LOL.  

Our neighbor is worried about one of their dogs who can't seem to shake an ear infection and they've had him into the vets at least a couple of times. Worried, because they had another dog just like him (this one is related to that dog somehow) who kept getting ear infections that the vet kept telling them wasn't anything to worry about, but turns out he had cancer in his sinus's and they had to have him put down. We remember this because when we were building dh used to always go over to their kennel fence and greet the dogs and one day that dog was bleeding out of his nose. So, they are hoping this isn't going to turn out the same situation and so are we.

We were supposed to have some snow last night, but all's we got is rain, but that's ok. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021


Just in case you might have missed it - the IRS extended the tax filing deadline to May 17th. Even though I got my mom's done (and her refund just deposited today, already) I haven't even started on mine, so it's nice to have the extra time. I'm not sure what is going on with her state return. She owed a small amount and it was filed at the same time, and I thought it would charge her checking account for it, but nothing has shown up yet. I was just looking over the state tax return copy I printed out - geez, pages and pages, LOL. Doesn't seem like it needs to be more complicated than a federal return. And it looks like maybe we are supposed to go online and pay it, so I'll give that a try.

Ok, the weather looks good this weekend, so I think I will have mom here. Even though Friday is payroll processing day, I won't be picking her up until after lunch, so I will just get all my pre-work for it done tomorrow and then hopefully spend a half hour or less on Friday morning finishing it up. Trying to decide if I want to do a grocery pick up order Friday, after I pick her up, or Sunday, after I drop her off. I'm hoping she doesn't ask for her check register back. If she does I'll try to distract her or tell her I'll go upstairs and get it from my office later...and then she will most likely forget minutes later.

While it's not every day, the gun shooter does seem to have a pattern of starting it around 4:45pm on the days he decides to be annoying. I told dh he probably gets home from work then. He shot for about 1/2 hour yesterday, but Mr. Neighbor wasn't home, so no shooting back, LOL. I highly doubt that's his plan, I'm sure he was just venting from frustration. It must be really annoying to live in his neighborhood and especially the people a couple houses down that have horses. That seems like it would be stressful to the horses. Since he started all this a couple weeks or so ago, we have not seen the eagles at their nest at all. Wonder if it's a coincidence. And now we have this nice telescope sitting in our living room pointing at nothing to see. Bummer.

Finally, the past 2 mornings I am back to waking up at my regular time.  Every morning I make dh and egg sandwich and wrap it in foil and he eats it when he gets up. He's been eating this for breakfast for EVER. When he worked I'd make him one and he'd take with him as he walked out the door. For some reason 2 out of the past 4 mornings he says they taste terrible. I can't figure out what it could be. I use a small frying pan that I then wash out when I'm done. The first time he complained I thought well maybe I left some soap residue on the pan. I've been super careful now to make sure it's very rinsed.  I always spray the pan with cooking spray other wise the egg will stick. I got a different brand spay, but have been using it for at least a month or more, so I don't see how it could be that. I'm stumped. I put some pieces of ham lunch meat in the egg. I guess I'll just throw that one out and open a new one. Maybe it is bad.

I've been checking online with my previous mortgage lender to see if the escrow refund check has been sent yet. On the escrow page, I had noticed it showed the next 2 property tax payments that would be due 5/21 and 11/21 and for some reason the 5/21 was showing as the old small amount before they assessed after building. Property taxes statements here are actually due Nov of one year and then May of the next year (where I lived before it was always due April and October of the same year). And I was pretty sure the last tax statement I got in 2020 (due Nov 2020 and then May 2021) was for the full assessed amount. So, why the mortgage company is showing May of 2021 as back to my old small amount, I have no idea. Probably why in December, when they did the annual escrow reconciliation they lowed my payment $100 a month instead of raising it $100 a month! They paid the first half due last November at the new higher amount, so of course May 2021 coming up should have been the 2nd half of that higher amount. Weird.

The new lender, of course has it figured out correctly and my closing costs included paying that May 2021 half due when I closed. 

Well, back to work. I just got a Facebook message from a cousin, she said she is having to have some genetic tests done and needing some family history on our grandmother and any cancers. Just breast cancer, but that was when she was like 80 years old and she had a double mastectomy done. And then she lived to 95 ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Fixed things

A couple of my issues I had Friday/weekend resolved on their own, so I was glad to start Monday off not having to deal with them. Friday, an hour before quitting time, the accounting program I use for work would not print or email. I wasn't in the mood to wait for IT to call me at the end of the day Friday, so I just decided I'd deal with it Monday. Except when I logged back in it all works fine now.

I tried one more time first thing Monday to log into my bank and reset my password, as I got locked out Saturday and it said I had to call to reset it, but they weren't there on weekends to answer. But, Monday morning it let me request a temp pin# be sent to my phone and I was then able to change the password online. And get my $150 refund check mobile deposited. I'm still waiting on my escrow refund check. When I log into my old lender it is showing my loan paid, but still showing the escrow balance. Hopefully they will process it soon.

My new bedroom lamps arrived yesterday and I really like them. At first, as I was taking them out of the boxes, I thought oh, these are too big! They are like full sized table lamps and the ones I had on my nightstands were really small, so a big change. But, once I got them set up, I really like them. They seem more in proportion with the room size and the tall windows. I really like the glass base.

I moved the two small lamps upstairs to one of the guest rooms, that only had one small lamp up there and replaced it with these that were in my bedroom. I think they fit great for this room and the small nightstands.

Since we don't have any snow, I'm ready for spring to get here. I don't like the ugly winter brown lawn. In looking at the pictures on my phone from last year, it's at least mid April before the grass starts getting greener and later May before it looks good. The spring wild yellow flowers that bloom for awhile isn't until mid May, so still a couple months to go.

This is on the vacant lots next to us, last spring.

After I got done working yesterday and went downstairs to get dinner started my back, underneath my shoulder blades, started hurting. It was fine sitting in my chair all day. This morning it still hurts, so I'm having trouble getting comfortable sitting here. Maybe it's leftover aches and pains from bending over a bunch of times picking up the pinecones on Saturday.

Mr. Neighbor chatted with dh yesterday and he's so disgusted with the shooter nut job and the lack of interest by the head sheriff, by his response to Mr.'s email, that Mr. said he's thinking about just "shooting" back every time we hear him shooting. I don't know about that, LOL. But, maybe the guy would get the message. Kind of like knocking on the wall or ceiling of your apartment to get your neighbor to quiet down, I guess, haha. 

I still haven't decided if I'm going to take Friday off and have my mom here this weekend. Now the weather looks either rainy or frozen, which I don't want to drive in. Maybe Easter will be a better weekend, but I don't do Easter dinners, LOL and I would want to take her home early afternoon. I guess I'll decide soon one way or the other.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Oh deer

I gave myself a haircut this weekend. Chopped of a few inches, which always helps. I'm still working on learning to cut in some layers, but I think I did a little better this time. The back is still the part I have the most trouble with for layers.

We had a sad event last night. About 8:30 dh was sitting on the loveseat chatting away about some youtube channel he's been watching and I could see car lights out the front door side windows behind him, as I'm looking at him and he could see the lights reflected in the back windows, so we looked out the front door windows to see what was going on. It totally looked like a vehicle was right on our road outside our front gate, stopped. DH went to go get his coat on to check it out and I'm seeing the car back up and pull forward again.

Well, turns out they were actually stopped on the main road (runs parallel to our little street, with a strip of field grass in between). They hit a deer. The whole herd was running across the road. He was checking out his truck because he had some damage. He had a flashlight and he thought the deer was dead, but when he shined it on her, she was still alive, barely. Ugh. They pulled her off the road but she was just struggling to breath and couldn't move. I guess it's against the law here to put the animal out of it's misery after hitting it. No, first you have to call the state patrol/sheriff or Fish and Wildlife to report it and wait (could be hours) for them to come. I guess the reasoning behind it is so someone doesn't poach/shoot an animal and then say they ran into it.

But, dang. She was suffering and dh and the guy both knew it was from an accident. The guy said he has a gun in his truck, so they both agreed to just put her out of her misery. The guy asked dh if he wanted her (for meat) but dh said no, you can take her (since he had a pickup bed to put her in). Otherwise she would have been laying there for who knows probably how many days, basically right out in front of our house, with all the hawks, ravens, etc, coming to eat on her. Not to mention our dogs and neighbors dogs being curious to go see what was out there. No thanks.

I didn't go out there, but dh was super sad about it all. Just broke his heart to watch her suffer and then have to see her shot, but it had to be done. It just reinforced that he won't be a hunter. Dh said it was a guy and his family in the truck. They live about 15 miles away and said they were just out taking a drive because it helps their baby fall asleep to ride in the truck and they were on their way back towards home. Whatever was wrong with his truck, it still drove, but wasn't sounding too good, dh said.

When our friends hit a bear a couple years ago, they were in an area with no cell service, so they had to drive a mile or so to get to service to call it in. When they then drove back to where they hit it the bear was gone. They were pretty certain it was dead before they left to call it in, so either it really wasn't and ran off or someone drove by and picked it up. But, they stayed until sheriff showed up, so they could document the damage to their brand new car they literally just got that day, for putting in the insurance claim to fix the big dent it left in the side of their car. But, it was a long wait for someone to show up and file the report.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday and oh my!

Oh good Lord. So, I always check my mom's email every morning to clear out the spam that finds it's way through. As I was checking each day for the past week I see she has a couple legit emails and hasn't even looked at her emails, as they are still new. (nothing important - a weekly "newsletter" from her investment guy and something from her old retirement group where she worked). Then this morning is an email from someone saying Hi, here is my email. I still email with old friends....and so on for another sentence or two. I'm thinking maybe this is spam, but then he signed it with see you at lunch! Oh great - she has a boyfriend now, LOL. 

Yesterday morning we went outside and picked up a bunch of pinecones that had fallen from a big tree on the lot next to us/other side of our fence. DH had seen a picture last summer where someone used pinecones to fill in a garden area and thought it looked neat, so slowly we are getting our island in the driveway filled up.

Well, this is frustrating. I was going to include a picture I took, but since yesterday I can no longer seem to send myself pictures from my phone. I have always just sent myself the pictures in messenger from my phone. Then open the message to myself on my computer and then open and save the picture. Now I can no longer open and save the pictures I am messaging to myself. So, I tried emailing - to 2 different of my email addresses and the emails won't go through. It was always a quick way to get a pic off my phone to my computer. So, I plugged my phone in to my computer and searched that way. We were able to add a couple of wheelbarrow loads to it.

We got a dusting of snow last night. Our neighbors down the street had someone they hired prep the floors of their 2 pole buildings they are putting up, for concrete floor. Well, they did the first one Friday (it took them all week to prep both) and I guess it turned out terrible, so neighbor guy isn't very happy with them at all. DH went down to look at it, but it appears they didn't use crushed rock and a machine to pound it all down, to get a really solid base, and apparently neighbor doesn't have much knowledge of how it should have been done, so it's probably not going to hold up too well. They are doing the 2nd building tomorrow. I said is he going to let them?! LOL. 

I can't seem to get going this morning. I did sleep in a bit, to almost 8am. Usually I'm up around 7, but with this time change last weekend I can't seem to get in the new groove. I'm probably going to have to set my alarm next week, so I start getting up at the right time again.

I was thinking of taking next Friday off and going and getting my mom and having her for the weekend, but then I looked at the calendar and Friday is payroll processing day. I could probably get it all done in the morning (maybe!), so I'll think about it. 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Locked out

I'm off to a fine start this Saturday morning by somehow locking myself out of my online banking, LOL. I think I updated my password recently (it's saved on my computer) but for my phone I have to enter it in. On my password list in my notebook I had something scribbled, but couldn't read the last number/sign. I guessed and it was wrong. Then I went on my computer to see saved passwords in Firefox and when I tried the saved password it didn't work. What the heck? So, I said forgot password and set up a new one (via my computer) and then went to log in using that new password with my phone. Wouldn't work. Well, now I'm locked out and have to call. 

I just wanted to mobile deposit the $150 refund check from the title co I received yesterday. They sent it via FedEx. We both just happened to be looking outside when the delivery van pulled up to our gate. I'm like I'm not expecting anything, assumed they mailed the check usps. I'm also supposed to be signed up to get texts when there is a delivery coming that day and also after they deliver. I haven't been getting any lately. I just went online and it shows I'm signed up for text messages for just about every delivery notification they have, for my address. I specifically signed up so we'd know if they were coming or left a package at the gate. Geez.

We still have not seen the bald eagles at their nest for a good week. We are bummed and concerned. Looking at them through the telescope (and binoculars before that) has always been something we both do just about every day. According to our neighbors that pair has been here since they moved here, 13 years or so ago.

I ordered something else for my home yesterday. I hope I like's a calf sized cowhide rug. I want to put it in my master bath in front of the tub. The room has a western vibe to it, with the wood tile and the western scene sketches I put on the walls. It was half off at $49, otherwise I probably would not have spent $100 at all. The first time I tried to order it, their website had them showing $49 on sale, but when I put it into the cart it was full price. No coupon code I could find. I sent an email via their contact asking, but they never replied. Then I decided to look on their site again, maybe they fixed the issue and they did. If I end up not liking it on the floor, it can always be hung on a wall or draped over the stair railing upstairs.

Plans for today: no clue, LOL. Cleaning house I guess.


Friday, March 19, 2021

To-do's on hold still

We have quite a few things on the "to- do list", but either we are waiting on someone else or they require lumber and it's just too darn expensive right now. I was hoping it would come back down in price at least by summer, so we (which of course I mostly mean dh, haha) could get going on these projects, but who knows.

Add a loft in the shop along the backside wall. This will take quite a bit of lumber and dh used up what he had on the first smaller loft he built at the end of the shop. This is probably the biggest project and will take him awhile to do. I will get the job of staining all the boards and painting the plywood on the loft floor (we just used some from a leftover 5 gallon of white paint we had)

Finish out our walk in closets in our bedroom. Again - lumber needed, if dh is going to build the shelves himself. We are looking at pre-made, also, but so far I haven't found anything in a more rustic wood stain. Everything seems to be white or dark espresso color. I'll have to do some more online searching as to what is available. Maybe there is unfinished and I can do in the stain I want, but again, prices are probably really high right now, due to lumber prices, so probably just best to wait it out.

Add automatic gate opener. We still may just try the solar one for now. Not a big hurry.  We don't leave that often so we just get out and open the gate.

Put in a hidden bookcase door in Dh's den closet. They are expensive, so we've had this project on hold as other projects and things for the house have been higher on the priority list. We may look into finding plans online to try and build ourselves.

Two projects we are waiting on, still, is the cabinet we ordered for the laundry room, to match our existing cabinets. This will hold the dog food in a pull out bin in the lower part and shelves above for their treats and other supplies. Late April at the earliest appears to be the install date. And the air exchanger system added to the HVAC. Not sure when that will get done. The HVAC guy said he had to order it in and then will probably come and install it on a weekend. It sounds like it will get installed in my closet, so we also do not want to finish out our closets until that is done. I guess he needs to use a small space in the corner to vent outside. It's been close to a month now, I think, since dh told him we wanted it added to our hvac system. He said he's been swamped and short handed.

I've been wanting some new bedside lamps for our nightstands. I haven't been looking too hard, but every time I did I'd click on something I like and the lamp is like $200, just for one, LOL. Yesterday I came across one I really liked, on sale for $55 each so I ordered them. I'm going to put the ones I currently have upstairs in a guest bedroom, that currently only has one very small lamp on one of the nightstands. This is what I ordered. Hard to see in picture, but the glass is kind of champagne color on it. I think it will go nice with my dark cherrywood bedroom set.

Let's hope they don't take as long to get as this bird lamp I ordered in December for my office! (not ordered from same company). The latest email I got on the bird lamp now says not until May, but when I go to their website, it now says they have them in stock. When I looked a couple weeks ago they said out of stock. So, I replied to my last email asking why I haven't received it yet, if they are showing in stock and they charged my credit card a couple weeks ago, when it was supposed to ship. 

In January dh ordered a custom pocket knife from Buck Knives, with an engraving on it. It just arrived today and he's happy. Plus they are made in the USA (Idaho). It looks like a really nice knife. I remember my grandpa always carried one. I'm sure my uncle ended up with it. Maybe someday dh will have a grandchild to pass it down to.

Another home near us (about 5 miles) just went up for sale - again. It sounds like its owned by an older couple and they have tried to sell it before, but the last time they tried was a little over 2 years ago and they tried it at $800k. Now it is listed for $1 million. It's a nice house, built in early 90's overlooking the river (even higher bank then we are). The wood doors and trim inside (to me) is a timeless feature, but the flooring, countertops and bathrooms all looked like they are from 1990, but everything is still very nice inside and out. I guess if that house on the river is worth $1 million, that house just down the road from us that is for sale (for like the 5th try in 3 years) sure isn't  worth a million dollars, then, LOL. I mean, if you are looking in this area for a million dollar home and you have these 2 choices, it's kind of a no brainer. The one down the road from us advertises "exquisite high end finishes". It's not anything fancy or high end at all. Neither is my house, nor would I advertise it that way, LOL. It says it has a gourmet kitchen. To me a gourmet kitchen is one that is large, has one of those super expensive fancy stoves and a big commercial type refrigerator.  It also boasts "elaborate landscaping". If that is what is considered elaborate, my dh went way beyond that in landscaping our place then, LOL. But, then again, around this area hardly anyone puts in landscaping, so I guess it's considered elaborate for around here.

We have like one realtor's office in our county. Most of the high end home sellers do not use them (though this one down the road has been using them each time), I've noticed. Well, I can see why - their pictures and advertising is very amateurish, even though they've been in business for a long time. When we sold our house in town, we did not use them. We used our realtor from the city and we sold it in 2-3 weeks. This local realtor's listings often sit on the market for a very long time.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Small world

DD bought some new mirrors for her master bathroom, switching from just the plain, no frame, builder grade mirrors to some round wood framed ones (looks great!) so she put the 2 big mirrors on Marketplace for like $30. She got a couple inquiries and then no response. Then yesterday a girl messaged her that wanted to come get them. DD messaged her address and the girl replied OMG! That's the house I grew up in! So, she came and got them and dd showed her around the house. She showed dd where her initials were in the concrete in the garage.  She said her parents got divorced when she was a teenager and her dad tried to keep the house, but eventually it foreclosed and the flippers bought it and then dd and her dh bought it. DD said the girl (well, late 20's dd guessed) was almost in tears. She showed dd a text she sent her sister about going to the house and her sister said "OMG, do you think they'll let you take a peek inside?" LOL. Then when they were in the garage, dd had one of her hall trees just finished waiting to be picked up, and the girl asked if dd could make her a blanket ladder, so dd will do that. She's thinking of making 2 and then adding it to her Marketplace ad with the hall trees and see if anyone will buy it.

My dd (age 25) is so mature and classy. Well, I mean by 25, she should be, right? Her Facebook (and occasional Instagram) posts are always mature, respectful, and positive. Never a cuss word. Always proper grammar. Never something you'd be embarrassed to have your grandmother see. She is just very professional.

And then there's my DH's 37 year old daughter from a previous relationship before we met........this is the type of stuff she posts on her Facebook:  THUG. THAT. SHIT. OUT. BABY.  or another post: Be Fucking Fearless. Live Unfuckwithable. Or this is a good one: She’s Got Mad Hustle and A Dope Soul , She’ll Never Lower Her Crown To Make Weak Ass People Feel Comfortable. And of course always selfies, trying to look 17 instead of 37. LOL.

Real mature for someone almost 40 years old. Good grief. But, I guess what can you expect from someone who has been a drug addict since she was a teen and has 2 teenagers herself now, that she never raised, except for off and on. I feel bad for her 2 boys. Their dad isn't much better. From what we could gather over the years they've been shuffled between mom, dad, and grandparents. The oldest boy is 17 now. She lives somewhere, off away from all her family now, being a bartender. She never wanted anything much to do with dh and my kids (her half siblings), once we finally met her when she was 20 years old, but boy, when my son got involved with the drugs/low life, she latched right on to him. She was so happy to spend time with him then.

I don't know if I mentioned yet, but apparently my son is getting married next Fall. Not sure if by then my mom will remember to send a wedding gift (a check, of course) but, knowing if her memory were normal and intact, she would send him something, I will make sure it gets done with/for her. BUT, I will not let her send more than she gave dd for her wedding gift. Of course she won't remember what she gave dd, but she shouldn't give him more. (not to mention all the $$ she's loaned him the past several years!)

I think I have found a patio dining set I like from Home Depot. 4 tables and a chair and I will also get an umbrella. The chairs are kind of a resin wicker resin. They have about 15 different cushion colors and all but 2 are out of stock right now, but one available is a dark blue that I am kind of liking, rather than just going with the bland tan color I was originally thinking. It's $60 off right now and only $569 for the set. Umbrella is about $88.

We have not been seeing the bald eagle pair at their nest the past week. Usually we can look out the telescope and see at least one of them sitting there a few times a day. Neither of us have seen them. I did hear one the other day and saw it fly by the house, but that is it. Last year at this time, for 10 or so weeks, the female was sitting in the nest all day/everyday on her eggs. I have read that they sometimes have 2 nests, so maybe that is what is going on this spring. I hope that is what it is.

As I finish this post up, it's almost time for my lunch break. It's Thursday so I will watch last nights episode of Resident Alien. It's on too late on Wednesday nights for me, so I just watch it the next day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Money in. Money out.

It's a good day to log into my bank account this morning. My smaller 2nd loan mortgage payoff posted yesterday afternoon. There was about a $13 over payment so they just applied it right to my checking account. The $2800 stimulus $ also deposited. And I got the email from my new lender on how to make payments starting 5/1. Of course I'll set up on auto pay. Between that deposit and the money I already have sitting in there to pay for the cabinet and addition to our HVAC system I'm feeling rich, haha. Too bad, most of it is all going back out at some point.

My mom for some reason always has in her mind that we hardly ever talk on the phone on the weekends. She will always say "well, I try not to bother you on the weekends, as I know you are busy and have things to do after working all week". LOL. I talk to her, with rare exceptions, every Saturday and Sunday. I even reminded her, in our chat yesterday, that I came and saw her this past Sunday, she had forgotten. It must be such a strange thing on the mind to not really be aware of time anymore. I was wondering if not remembering makes the days feel like they are slow or fast, but I'm leaning towards fast, because she doesn't have much memory of what has happened earlier in the day.  She is kind of always just in the present. 

Dh hasn't really been doing much of anything the past weeks. A few days here and there he got some stuff done, but mostly he's been doing nothing! He needs to get busy with something LOL. There's no snow to plow or shovel, but it's not lawn mowing season yet. Just ugly brown winter grass for awhile longer. When my new plant stand arrived after dinner yesterday we figured he'd have to put it together, but it was already together and just unfolded. He hasn't wanted to start any projects where he needs to purchase lumber (like for the next loft in the shop he wants to build) because of the stupid high lumber prices.  

He did take a trek down the game trail to the river yesterday with the dogs. He said there is a ton of deer and elk poop all over the rocks down there. Our oldest dog started sniffing and off he took headed down river, along the shore, LOL. We haven't figured out if he's going deaf or just decided he's old and stubborn and going to do what he wants now, but dh had to  go after him, haha. Later, after he was back, we heard a power boat going up river. There is rarely ever a power boat on the river, but dh said it was actually 3 boats went by. From what he could see (because he refuses to wear his glasses) all 3 boats looked identical and the people in them were all dressed the same and had helmets, so he is guessing they were from Fish and Wildlife. The day before we had the annual helicopter low fly over, as they are counting the deer and elk populations.

And the guy across the valley, up the mountain that side, who is the re-loader, was shooting. It's so annoying. Like dh says, the guy shooting, the noise doesn't bother him because he knows it's coming when he pulls the trigger, but no one else does. DH asked our UPS guy if he delivers up there, what he knows. He said usually they just live up there in summer, but this winter decided to stay. They are a mile up a steep dirt road. No other houses on it and UPS refuses to have their big truck go up there in winter/snow and they just can't understand why.....stupid people.

I heard a very happy chirpy bird when I let the dogs out this morning. I think spring is just around the corner.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Less debt

I just received an email from my first mortgage lender that the loan is now paid in full as of yesterday. I'm still waiting for my 2nd small mortgage loan with my local bank to show as paid. I'm sure they got their money, too. I'll be getting a refund of my escrow balance of $2641. Somehow I ended up with $955 to me at closing (I think due to the delays and me making another payment on my mortgage, rather than change the loan amount, she just flowed it as cash back). I'm taking all that and just adding it to my first mortgage payment.

Our stimulus $ is supposed to deposit tomorrow. I plan to use some of it to finally get a patio dining set. I just can't find one I like yet. I want cushioned chairs, but when I find a table and chair style I like, the cushions are a color I don't like. I may just end up going with a wood set I liked and buying my own cushions.

DD told me last night that they are now credit card debt free! She had paid off her one credit card balance last week and her dh just paid his 2 cards in full yesterday. Now, they just have their home, 2 vehicles (both were purchased used), and a camper trailer (also purchased used) they are paying on. She also has about $2000 in cash on hand from selling her hall trees. She is saving that up for some trees they need to have cut down on their property. They also just had someone come and maintenance their roof and clean gutters.

Our neighbors (the ones who had the baby recently) have been working on building a garage and a small shop on their property. Since he is doing most of it himself it's taking awhile, plus of course he got delayed waiting on the excavator guy last Fall, so by the time he could start framing it winter was here. He's getting there, though. It's roofed now. Looks like maybe he's ready to put the siding on. At least they had gotten in framed before the lumber prices skyrocketed.

My new rustic looking plant stand arrived yesterday. I like it and much more closer to the picture than the "copper" canister I ordered was, from the same company. I still need more plants and stuff, but my cute turtle I found is right at home. Let's hope I can keep the plants alive, LOL.

I think, rather than putting a chair angled next to the right of the plant stand, I may just get a potted plant to sit on the floor there, that is a couple feet high. I had put a chair there, during Christmas, when I had to move it to put the tree and I liked having a chair there. I think I'll set it back over there for a bit and see how I like it. 

Today at lunch I will get my taco soup made and simmering in the pot until dinner. That will be dinner tonight and again one night this week. The rest I'll freeze up into dinner sized portions. 

I just saw a little Mountain Chickadee on my roof outside my office window. Been seeing lots of ducks on the river the past week. I'm ready for my birds to be back. I'm looking to add a second bird bath :)

Monday, March 15, 2021

Getting through a Monday

Not the best start to the week, work wise. My boss spend a nice bit of money on a new bigger server, just for our accounting program, that our IT company said would fix our issues. It didn't. In fact, I think it's worse. I thought she had contacted IT last Friday afternoon, when we discovered it was still having problems, but it's still not working right this morning and she must be in a Monday morning meeting as she hasn't replied to me asking if IT got contacted. And I'm sure she will want to be the one to contact them this time, since it's such an ongoing issue.

Not to mention trying to get up an hour earlier - ugh! I hate the adjustment period. I don't use an alarm clock and always just wake up (and so do the dogs) at about the same time every morning. We weren't ready this morning.

My mom wanted to write me a check yesterday to reimburse me for lunch and a couple things I picked up at the store for her. She couldn't remember where her check register was, usually it's with her I quickly said "oh, I took it with me last time to update it and I forgot to bring it back!". I told her I would update it with this check she just wrote. And keep doing that, haha. SO MUCH EASIER! I'll just conveniently keep forgetting it ;)

Dh and Mr. Neighbor often text quite often, but lately have switched to emailing, since they have more to share with each other, LOL.  Mr. said he and Mrs were discussing the other day who could take their dogs if they both "checked out at the same time" and decided their dog who is dh's best buddy will have to go to us, LOL. DH replied, I couldn't break up the "mod squad" so all 3 will have to come live with us - and we'll have to get an addendum to the covenants, that 5 doggos are allowed if prior relationship existed. LOL.

I'm still having allergies/fuzzy head. Hopefully I'll be past it soon. Yesterday wasn't quite as bad, but today is, again. 

I was going to make taco soup for dinner (make during lunch break) but we have a few slices of pizza leftover from dinner last night, so dh said he would just have that. When I make the taco soup, it make a huge pot, so I freeze it in several containers and get lots of meals from it. I've also been saving the plastic containers with lids that the large size of lunch meats I buy comes in, so I have enough containers now.

I got a notification on Friday that my new mortgage loan funded, so I should be seeing my 2 current loans showing paid off soon. I ended up with a small amount coming as cash back to me and that went into my checking today, so I'm assuming my now previous lenders should be getting that today, too. I will also be getting back about $2400 from my escrow account. I also got an email from the title company that they have mailed out the $150 refund they are giving me. 

With the warmer weather we've been having, I also just saw a local gal comment on Facebook that she's found tics on her horses already, so time to start up the tic and flea medicine on the dogs already, I guess. Tics do not usually show up here until April.

Time for lunch. Not sure what to have. I never am, haha. I'm not a big sandwich eater. I think I'll just do some peanut butter on a couple slices of honey wheat bread.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Sunny Sunday

DH knows the guy who's property (extensive amount) butts up to this neighborhood where the gun nut job lives. His home is farther back and dh was wondering if he's heard the shooting and what he thinks of it. He messaged him yesterday and then went over to his place and visited with him awhile. He is not hearing it, so they are guessing that the guy is going down lower to the river (we are all way up high on both sides) so the sound isn't carrying to his place.  All last summer off and on we were hearing gun shots from the other side of the little valley, like one shot every 20 minutes. He did know who is doing that. Someone who is a "re loader" and lives there in the summer. Sure, just come in for a bit on "vacation" and annoy the whole valley of homes around you.....

I didn't realize until yesterday afternoon that is clock change weekend. Well, then it's perfect timing to go to my mom's today as her "calendar clock" doesn't automatically change, so I can get that changed for her. Last fall she did manage to get it reset when I talked her through it on the phone.

A couple trips into town ago I bought dh another large storage bin at Home Depot. Only I didn't realize this wasn't the same size, it's smaller. I went online and figured out which one I should have got and just ordered one for curbside pickup. That way I don't have to lug a huge 55 gallon bin through the store and checkout.

I had a good visit with my mom. I stopped at Subway and brought us sandwiches for lunch. Thought she might want a break from "eating the same thing all the time" LOL. Of course she is not eating the same thing and I see the menus for each week and it's very much a variety of meals.

After I left her I stopped at Home Depot and picked up the bin and also 2 house plants. Gonna give live plants a try again. Wish me luck. haha. Tomorrow the plant stand/shelf I ordered comes so it's a start to decorate on that. I also stopped in Ross to see what they had and picked up a cute turtle statue that will also go on the plant stand.

Got a big grocery order picked up and we're good to go for food for a few weeks again. Super nice weather and in low 60's and sunny today.

I'm going to miss my hour of time probably tomorrow trying to wake up when it feels like 6am. It usually takes me about a week to adjust.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Happy Saturday

Covid cases are down to under 1000 total right now in my state. Less than a 10th of 1% of the population here. Things are looking so much better. My friend who didn't like my Facebook comment that it was good to see smiles and faces again, when our mask mandate was lifted, has not interacted with anything I have posted since then. Like I said, 99.9% of my posts are not political related (and honestly I didn't think saying it was good to see faces again political - just a human reaction!), they are animal related (dogs or chickens) or dumb stuff my dh does (always a hit, LOL) and she often clicks like or comments. 

It's going to be a really nice sunny weekend at close to 60 degrees. Someone pulled down our street after dark last night, we just saw the lights go by from the front door windows but dh thought it might have been a truck with a camper. Unless our end lot neighbors have company (not usual) maybe it's the new owners of lot 6 are over here for a weekend visit. We can't see those lots from our property, as the lot next to us has a bit of a hill to it.

I decided to go in and see my mom tomorrow/Sunday and also pick up a load of groceries. I want to make sure that the refill she just received, the one that needs the pills cut in half, gets done, before she runs out of what she has left of cut ones. When we have the dr, do her refill I will have her change the dosage so that these do not need to be cut in half. 

DD has been on a roll with finding things for her house that are offered free on marketplace. This week she picked up a cute "floral" arrangement and a cute ceramic owl for her patio. I forget what it was the week before, but it is something from a lady she has gotten other free stuff from before. It might have been a wine rack. I can't recall now.

The 401k advisor for our company plan called me yesterday and apparently when we switched last yar to this new company, my more aggressive allocation I was set up on before didn't move over. They just automatically put me in a plan based on my age, unless I told them otherwise and somehow I missed knowing that. Bummer, I lost a year of good earnings! But, it is fixed now, at least.

DH just said he wants to do something outside today, to enjoy the sun. Not sure what, but guess I'd better go get showered and get some allergy meds in me.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Another episode of people suck

That *&%hole pilot that lives in the same neighborhood as the constitution nut job just went over our house way less than the minimum 500 ft he's supposed to fly up at. Last summer, dh had driven down to the little county airport (about 5 miles from us) and caught him just as he was leaving and very nicely said "hey, could I get you to fly 500 feet above my house, like you are supposed to?" The guy smarted off "well, I was 500 feet from something". He agreed not to do it anymore. After that we'd hear small planes fly over, but they were way up there. DH had talked with someone at FAA about it - clarifying the rules -  and said if the request to not do it anymore doesn't work, he'll get back in touch with them. Well, now the weather is nice and warming up, so he's back to low flying and went right over our house, along the river twice, in about 10 minutes interval.

After he went by the first time, going away from the airport, dh went outside and waited for him to come back and when he did he got it on video and a picture. He was low enough that on his small plane you can read his tail number in the video. He was low enough that I could see the plane very close up and clearly out my upstairs office window. No way he was even close to 500 ft up.

I looked up a video online of a small plane flying 500 ft over an area with buildings. Pretty sure this pilot can't see into those windows from this height, LOL

So, after he made a couple calls and left messages, he decided to drive down to the airport and chat with the guy again, if he was still there. DH wasn't nice this time, but apparently the threat of the FAA involved and the fact that the plane is registered in someone else's name (so maybe the owner would get cited too?) seemed to put the fear in him. DH then told him he had him on video and he admitted he was only at 200 ft up, "because it's fun". My guess it was 200 ft from the river itself, which means 100 ft above our house. Not cool. Like dh told him - he's not asking him to "accommodate" us, just because dh doesn't "like" it. It's the law/regulations for flying. There's a reason for it, along with we just don't "like" it. Not to mention he's flying right over the bald eagles nest, that is even closer to his plane. He also told dh that when he's going over his speed is 200 mph.

They ended up talking quite awhile. The guy is from WA state and of course, another one who likes to talk about himself and all his "accomplishments".  Said "he" built a race track in one town near where he lived, but he didn't even know the type of cars that race on it right, LOL. Dh said "oh, you must know so and so then?" (because that is who really built that particular track LOL) The guy was taken a bit by surprise, haha. "oh you know him?" Dh said yes, we raced with him and his family for 10 years. Not to mention he bought some of dh's construction equipment when dh went out of business.

As he's trying to tell dh of all his greatness, like he has a million dollar house (okkkayyyy...) and how he made his money, blah blah, he said if things (meaning economy/gov't) go to hell, he's just going to subdivide his place (4.6 acres) into 1 acre lots and sell them and move up higher in the mountains and get away from it all. DH said see? you are a crappy neighbor (after he already told him he was, LOL). Turn this area into shit for the rest of us and then leave!

This afternoon UPS guy comes to deliver the webcam my boss sent me. He was having a slow day, because they filled in all his in town deliveries with an other truck, so I guess he was killing time, LOL. He ended up talking to dh for like an hour. He hadn't seen the view of the river from the back of our house and wanted to see it. As they were out there talking a huge flock of ducks flew in and landed down on the other side of the river and were hanging out. A bit later - guess what?! A bunch of gun shots, just like last Friday afternoon. I happened to look out my window just as I heard them and noticed the huge flock all take off, because the shots disturbed them. Asshole!

I got my webcam set up. What's up with electronic things never having instructions anymore? It was just a USB plug in so, pretty self explanatory and "loaded" the device automatically when I plugged in. It has this base where you can set it on the desk, but when I tested it out by calling dd via messenger, it was too low and dd got a great view of underneath my chin. Of course as soon as I hung up with her I figured out how it hooks up on the top edge of my monitor. Then I looked at our app on my work desktop, but the video camera option was still grayed out. Hmm....I googled how to use a webcam with a remote connection and found it's just a settings change in Remote Desktop Connection to add the webcam and ta-da! All good to go now. It's kind of creepy to me to have a camera staring at me, so I put a sticky note over it. I could also just unplug it from the USB port and only plug it in when I need to use it for a meeting, which isn't very often. But, at least now I can join meetings like most everybody else does, and they can actually see me. Plus, lately when my boss calls me, rather than just calling my cell# like she used to always do, she's just been calling through Teams, so now I can answer it from my computer, rather than my phone.

starting taxes

I decided to get my mom's tax return done yesterday, now that I have all her documents. The past several years I have been using TaxAct. I logged in to start her 2020 return and when I tried to input her retirement income, it said I needed to upgrade to Premium, which would be $120 to file her federal and state returns! I don't think so. I know I can at least get $20 off TurboTax from my payroll company discounts, so switched over to try them. Gosh, super easy - and all free!

I know her 2020 income is below the $75,000 stimulus threshold, but she didn't get the first 2 stimulus checks, because they went off her 2019 tax return, which was too high. But, I was thinking maybe if I get her tax return submitted now she might get the $1400 coming.

About the first thing they had me do is drop in the pdf file I had of her 2019 tax return. It quickly took all her info from that, so no need for me to enter anything. For her 1099-R form, they are already set up with her investment company, so I just had to enter her account number and the Document ID from her 2 1099 forms. Presto, the info from it was there in seconds. Then I input her social security income info and some interest received info. Done. With only taking half her required min. distribution from her retirement account in 2020, due to Covid laws, her income really dropped, also making it low enough that none of her social security income was taxed for 2020.

Then it asked me if she received the first 2 stimulus payments and I answered no, so then $1800 was added as a credit/refund. So, now I'm sure at some point she'll also get this $1400.  Not that she needs any of it, for goodness sake, but hey, whatever. So, in about 15 minutes total I was done and filed with both her federal and state returns, for free. I will be doing my return now through Turbo Tax too. I know I will have to pay for the service, as I have self employment income, but I can use the $20 discount towards the cost. I know I will owe, as always, so I'm not in any hurry for them to get my money before April 15th.

This is the first year that she also isn't remembering about needing to do the return. Long time readers of my blog may recall that I have been doing her tax returns since my dad died, about 12 years ago, and the first several years I did them at her house/from her computer and while she understood the tax returns, she didn't know how to use a computer much but she wanted to, LOL. Having her "help" would take me hours instead of minutes to do her returns. Then gradually I started doing them from my computer, quickly, even though the last few years she was saying "oh, I'm sure you could show me how to do them" (but by then I knew she wouldn't remember how the next year). Well, this year she didn't even really seem to know that the documents she got in the mail were for doing her tax return. She hasn't mentioned her tax return at all this year.  

One more to do checked off my list.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

More good customer service

I couldn't stand it any longer, not knowing if my loan documents made it to their destination, so I have an email into my lender to ask. This was sent yesterday afternoon, but I have not heard back from her yet. I just logged into my fedex account this morning and finally it is showing detail on the overnight envelope. Apparently the notary did not drop it off until around 4pm yesterday, so now it is showing in transit and supposed to arrive at the title company today. So, he held on to these time sensitive documents for more than 48 hours. Geez.

And speaking of good customer service, I had another interaction with a business's customer service that was a good surprise. I decided to leave a review of the "copper" canister/vase I bought. I have rarely seen any reviews left on this site and this was my first purchase. It's a site called Decor Steals, that lists like 3 items a day and then they are gone and 3 new ones the next day. I'm guessing that's why there aren't much reviews? I wasn't super impressed with this purchase. It was also a bit of an online search to find the item on their site, since it's no longer for sale. I gave it 3 stars out of 5 and said this item is just "ok". I said it doesn't have the copper patina and distressed look as in the picture, more just a solid dull copper color. 

Within about 15 minutes I got an email from their customer service saying they were sorry I'm not happy with my item and could I send a picture? I tried to take a picture with light shining on it, as it appears on their website.

Here is their item:

Looking at it larger, from their website, it has quite a bit of coppery color and patina, as well as a distressed look.

Here is the one I received:

Cute, but just more of a dull solid copper painted look. There's no different shades of pantina, like theirs shows. It does have a distress dent under the handle, but I'm fairly certain it was damaged in shipping, as the box was really banged up and there wasn't much inside the box to protect it.

The customer service person emailed me back and gave me a 50% store credit ($15) to use on another purchase. That was nice and as long as this next item I ordered a few days ago (a rustic metal shelf) isn't a disappointment, I will probably order something else in the future.  This is what I'm expecting next Monday.

DH got the newly framed photograph up on the wall. He's always very careful to make sure things are secure. Finally! We have something on that big blank space! It's been driving me nuts for quite awhile, but wanted it to be something nice. I think we did pretty good between the photo he took of the river with his drone a couple years ago and my choice of frame. Visually, something taller/more vertical probably would have looked better above the rectangle tv, but oh well.

I didn't take a close up picture of the frame before he hung it, but here is the detail on it from the website I purchased it from

I spent part of the evening last night and this morning trying to figure out an issue with dh's dual monitors. It seems if they fall asleep, while he still has programs open, when he tries to start up again, only one monitor wants to wake up and everything that was on the other monitor shifts over to the 2nd one and he can't seem to get the first monitor to wake up (or more likely it will, he's just being impatient). As usual googling the problem brings up 30 different solutions and 28 of those are in total tech speak. One seemed simple.  Change sleep mode to Never. I went and looked at how my computer is set up and it's at Never, so this morning I changed dh's to that, as his was set to go to sleep after a specific amount of time. I'm hoping that does the trick. Guess we'll find out today, LOL.

My Teams meeting yesterday was a bit frustrating, as usual. It's always freezing up on me. It freezes my whole work "desktop". So, then I can't see what's being shown and I have to quickly close out my remote connection and open back up. I had to do that probably 6 times during our hour long meeting. My other issue is, unlike most of the employees, I don't use a laptop that has a camera, so in order to have myself viewed and heard, I have to use the Teams app on my phone, but with that method I cannot share my screen, nor can I see the detail of someone else's report on my phone screen. So, if I am an active participant in the meeting, I call in to the meeting phone # with my phone, for audio only, and then open Teams on my computer for the viewing part. Not ideal.

after the meeting I messaged my boss my issues with the freezing computer and maybe I need to try getting a webcam to attach to my computer to help me make these teams meetings a little smoother. She said they had ordered a bunch of webcams for employees a long time ago, that got back ordered and finally just came in, so she is sending me one to try.  At minimum if will resolve my issue of being able to fully participate in meetings. If it's still freezing, then we will address that with IT.

For the past 2 days now my head feels "fuzzy". Not sure what that is. Yesterday close to noon is when it started. I thought maybe I just need something to eat. I had some wheat bread with peanut butter on it, a banana, and a glass of water, but it continued. It's still doing it this morning. Maybe sinus allergies? I sometimes get that during later winter, but usually the result is a headache that tylenol or advil won't touch. I'll have to try taking a sinus pill and see if that helps.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Deliveries and decor

Ugh. Now I'm stressing that the overnight envelope with my loan docs didn't get dropped off yet. Still nothing updated on FedEx for it. You'd think it would at least show "in transit" and the details on the shipping label say it's overnight. I'm probably stressing over nothing, as FedEx and their system/updates are exactly super reliable. Often it doesn't update during transit, but usually does once it's scanned delivered and since this was overnight, they should have it by now. But, you'd think when the notary dropped it off it would have gotten scanned as received to be in transit and it's not even showing that. GAH!

I also got a phone call yesterday from the customer service manager of the title company Ally Bank used. She said she had the info that my notary signing was an ordeal and wanted more detail so I explained about the 3 notaries. The first one canceling hours before and the second one just a no show, and then the 3rd one said he also wasn't coming, but offered to meet in between us. She wanted to know how far we had to go (30 minutes). She said that's not how it works and he accepted the job and should have come to where they told him the signing was to take place. Then she said as a concession for all my hassles, they are sending me a refund of $150. I said well, that is very nice, thank you! I wasn't expecting that. I haven't come across customer service like that in a very long time.

DH got a bunch of scrap wood burned up yesterday and made more room in the garage. He kept some pieces of beam type boards, but cut up shorter, that he may make some more planter boxes with. He had a lot of beams left but most are too crooked to do anything with, so he just cut them up into smaller lengths. He said they'd be really good for firewood, so he's going to offer them to our friends in town, who heat their house with a wood stove. If they don't want them, the guy that did the welding work on our gates said he will take them, so either way it should be gone out of the garage soon.

Been waiting for a call from my company's 401k advisor. I guess he tried to call me last Friday, after I emailed. I'm like hmmm...I didn't get a call notification. Then I realized my app that connects my work phone # with my cell had expired. It didn't auto renew, apparently, because the apps changed from having yearly charge, to monthly. work phone wasn't going through the past week! LOL. Now it's all fixed. Tells you how many calls I get. One, haha.

The large (and expensive) picture frame I ordered arrived last evening. It looks really nice and quality (well, it better be!) and I think it's going to look really nice hanging above the fireplace and tv. We haven't finished getting it ready to hang yet. For the most part it's been laying face down on my dining table, so I haven't got a super good look at it, with the picture in it. We weren't sure if we should unroll the print dh had made and try to get it flat first or not. In the end he just decided to roll it out in the frame, put the backing on and he laid some books on top overnight. He did hold it up for a quick bit for me to see it with the print in it. I thought it looked really good. I was a bit afraid having that picture blown up so much would distort it or not seem as vivid as it really is, but it looked perfect. I think having the "glass" (acrylic) front helps, too. Other than it's a smidge off and needs to adjust over inside the frame, as you can see the white edge of the print. It's just in the frame a smidge crooked. DH will fix that today and then get the hardware to hang put on. How he's going to get up above the tv is the question, LOL. It's hard to put a ladder there, because the hearth sticks out.

I also received a decor item I ordered from Decor Steals. A copper looking cannister/vase type thing with a lid. Of course it looks a bit better in the picture, but it's cute. Not sure where it's going yet.  Fireplace area, I think. I also recently ordered this copper rustic looking plant stand that is on it's way. I hope I will like it as much as the picture. I'm going to get some live plants to put on it.

Well, today is payroll processing day, along with I have a Teams meeting to participate in later this morning.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


FedEx delivery and tracking is almost as bad as USPS. I ordered a heating pad and some eye ointment from Walgreens a week and a half ago. They shipped it right away. It started out in Missouri, then went to Memphis, then to Florida, back to Memphis, now it made it to my state, but the wrong city/distribution center. And the overnight envelope with my mortgage signing docs is still showing as pending. It doesn't show they received it and it's on it's way to PA yet. Of course, with their weird system that they don't seem to update half the time, who knows if it's really on it's way or not. Of course, until I know, I'll worry the envelope is still sitting in the notary's car.......

Night before last, after I went to bed I was hearing this strange noise. I thought maybe it was something dh was watching on his computer, but it wasn't. I told dh and we opened a bedroom window and heard it again a couple times. He thought it was coyotes. I'm like doesn't sound like them, they yip and howl. Then about a minute later we started hearing yips and howls from the other side of the river. For a good 15 minutes or so there was a whole pack being very vocal. DH says, see it was coyotes. He had recorded both sounds with his phone.

As we left our house yesterday and drove down the road we passed our retired friend going the other way. Later he texted dh that just after we passed 2 mountain lions crossed the road right in front of him! Dang. we missed seeing that by like 30 seconds. Then dh said I'll bet that first sound you heard was a mountain lion calling her cubs to come back and then the coyotes heard and started in. We listened again to his little recording and yes, it was a mountain lion I first heard. They almost sound like a bird.

Yesterday afternoon dh was sitting at his desk/computer and something caught his eye out the window. It was one of our bald eagles had flown over our front yard and landed right outside our front yard. He caught something. Took a moment to get it in his talons and took off, low, right back over our yard. DH got it on video. Three or 4 more more times over the next couple of hours that eagle hunted in that area and came right through our property to get what he could see. They have amazing eyesight to be sitting all the over on the other side of the river and see a small animal!

When dh and Mr Neighbor were chatting on Saturday with the guy down river, who lives 2 houses down from the gun shooting nut job, it's a funny story in itself LOL.

The guy is a talker, all about himself. DH is a huge talker, too, once he gets someone to talk to, LOL, but this time he just decided to kinda be the quiet sidekick, haha. Neither had met this guy before, though I think Mr. had heard of him. He and his wife moved here about the same time we did and do some kind of church in their home (another sign for that at the entrance to their road). The first thing he says to Mr. is "how come you don't come to my service?" Not...hey, we hold a church service here, I'd love for you to come. No, puts him on the spot, but Mr. says "you hold it at 8:30pm. I am in bed by 7". The guy looks a bit skeptical. DH nods and says "true story. now if you want to hold it at 3:30am, he's your guy". Then he says same to dh. How come you don't come? Dh says "because I don't exist". He thought Mr. was going to snort a lung. 

DH figured Mr. was just kinda going along with this guy, just letting him talk and talk, while still trying to get some info on the nutjob and if they've tried to talk to him about it. Then the guy finally asks where they lived? Up river, on the other side. He says "oh you are the ones with the big houses?" DH and Mr. look at each other. DH says "his house is bigger than mine". Mr. says "are you sure? I don't think so". LOL. 

After they start heading back home Mr. tells dh that's the best answer (I don't exist) he's ever heard. He was still laughing. Then Mr. said did you notice the guy only talked about himself and didn't ask any questions about us or what we do/did, etc.? So, Mr was not impressed with this guy much. Then dh said, well the less he knows about me, the better, right?

So, Mr. Neighbor said he will be the one who calls the sheriff on this if the gun shots happen again. He understand dh's hesitancy, based on the 4 years of where we lived before and having to call daily, often more than once a day and then to have the dispatch and some deputies refer to him as "the guy that calls all the time" even though everyone in charge kept telling him to call call call. Then we move here, to get away from that kind of life, and end up with the renter neighbor from hell, that we had to call on a couple of times (the previous owners also called on him often, we found out) and of course this sheriff's dept not really doing anything about anything either. (that's when we got the developer, that still owned 6 of the 8 lots on our street involved, and he took care of the problem). Mr said, even if he isn't home, dh is to text him and he will call and report it, as if he is home. Like I've said before, Mr. also has more "clout" around here, with his job and his tenure here in the area.

DH made 2 calls yesterday. Bald eagles/nests are federally protected. You cannot shoot near them, especially during their mating/egg sitting season. It's also illegal to shoot across the river. So, first he called state fish and wildlife and they can possibly help with the shooting across the river, so dh at some point is going to walk down along the river on our side, down across from nutjob shooters place. If that is what he is doing there would of course be some telltale signs of AR15 rounds blowing out tree trunks or side of hill. They then referred him to Federal Wildlife to find out about shooting near the eagles nest, because as the state person said "those are federally protected! he can't do that". 

So, we'll see. In our experience all these laws and gov't depts to oversee them, but of course no one does their job.