Saturday, July 31, 2021

Inflation effects

Usually my grocery order with Walmart is around $275-300. This covers me 2-3 weeks. The order I placed, for pick up today, is $323. I really don't feel like I ordered anything different, or extra, then normal. In fact, my list seemed smaller than usual. Are prices just going up that much? Short of comparing prices to previous orders, I'll have to assume so. 

Just more chipping away at my income/budget. With no raise in 2 1/2 years now, it's now affecting what I had budgeted in the future years, for getting our house paid off (adding to the house payment more each year) and saving for retirement. I had only budgeted minimal raises, but still extra money each year, nonetheless, that I am not getting. I wonder if my boss will see all my PTO days requested in our system, for her to approve, and wonder "oh, why is she suddenly putting in for so many days?". In the past years I have always taken the time off between Christmas and New Years and then misc days here and there, as things came up I needed days off for. I rarely schedule PTO months in advance, ever.

Another thing, along with no raises, is we also lost one of our benefits/perks last year. The perk of only having to work until noon (7-noon) every other Friday. That benefit equaled almost 10 days of pay each year. Not to mention we typically only had to work until noon before every holiday off.

While I'm in no way unhappy with my job or have any desire to leave it, I do feel like the company has started to shift it's focus away from making it's employees one of it's top priorities. The good salary, regular raises, extra perks has always made it so that I really didn't mind if I didn't take all my earned days off. I also think they will start seeing more people leave, as we've just been experiencing the past couple months. When it's "just a job", like any other job/workplace, people are more open to leaving.

It's also evident that they are ignoring raises by the fact that annual performance reviews aren't being done any more (as of 2 1/2 years ago). Of course they don't want to give a performance review and say, oh, you are doing great, meeting or exceeding expectations but, no raise. 

Since I do payroll and have access to all the salaries, I did a review of who has and hasn't gotten any raises. In the past they were typically done during the first quarter of each year, with most getting done in March. In early 2020, I see 3 people squeaked by, through March, and Covid hit and life as we knew it came to a screeching halt.

Also, I now see just this month, 3 of the sales people and another in a fairly high position (a dept lead) did just finally get raises. My guess, on the salespeople is, they panicked, as 3 quit in 2 months.

The 2 owners always get a raise on January 1st of each year. The 4 exec mgrs usually always do, too, but their last one was Jan 2020. But what about the other 45 employees, who have all not had raises now in 2 1/2 years? What's the plan for them, I wonder. Are they just going to do away with performance reviews now and if you think you deserve a raise you have to ask for one? I have been with this company almost 16 years and we have never been put in that position before. Annual reviews were always done (though sometimes not always timely, they were done) and most often, at least a small salary raise. The owners and exec mgrs are still getting bonus's, as usual.

A few years ago management hired this consulting firm to assess our company culture, blah blah. I'm not sure what they really learned or got out of it (very expensive). I certainly didn't see any changes made as a result of it. Not really sure what the point of spending $142,000 on it was. I think it was mainly to "train" management, but again, I didn't see any changes from it. I do know each employee had to do an anonymous pretty extensive survey about their manager and the company.

So, now I will review my annual income and budget again and will have to see if there are any areas I can cut back. Not likely though. I'm already pretty bare bones when it comes to spending. I could also start up doing MTurks for some extra income again - use my days off I'll be taking for that, LOL. I am now getting an extra $50 a month, from my company, put into an HSA that I just started in June, so that's an extra $600 a year. 

I also do not know if we are getting our 401k match and profit sharing contribution. Usually it's deposited in summer of each year, June or July, but nothing has been paid so far this year. Nothing was mentioned (that I know of) of not getting it this year (for 2020), but those zoom meetings I watched were sometimes bad connections, so I could have missed it. I do know we have accrued for the expense on the books.

So, so far I have noticed increased gas, increased food/household goods, increased property tax, increased propane cost. 

My company, obviously is seeing higher costs to pay their expenses, too. But guess what? Their revenue is also increasing. Because our mfg's are increasing the cost they charge our customers for their goods, which in turn means increased commission revenue for my company. They are making the money to cover this inflation. Who's suffering? The end user. The employee, who's salary doesn't also go up to stay in line with inflation.

Friday, July 30, 2021


Well, apparently the transmission on dh's pick up is now toast. We're probably lucky we even made it home from Texas! The drive the other evening back home from town, after washing it, it was really acting up. Now he's just trying to figure out how he can get the transmission out and who to take it/send it to.  Ugh, that's not going to be cheap, I'm sure. The only good part is since he hardly drives it, it's not like it's a rush to get it fixed. It could sit there all through winter and just do it next spring, if he wanted.

I am so tired of trying to shop for things online, LOL. Everything I seem to find that I like/want/fits in my  budget is out of stock, or just takes forever to search through everything to find something I like. I just want 2 dang throw pillows in like 16" size for that church pew. Something with maybe a pattern/color to it. I'm not spending $50 per pillow! Or I find some I like and they are large like 18" or 22". It's just getting tiring and annoying. Then trying to find a bench for the laundry room that is the right length. It can't be longer than 36". Then I found one I really liked and of course it's out of stock. I put my email to be notified when it's back in stock so if it's not too long of a wait I'll hold off, otherwise I'll go ahead and order my second choice I found. I have a $55 in Target gift cards to use, but not finding anything I like. Everything on Amazon seems to be the pillow cover separate, which is ok, I guess, but there are just too many too look through. I also have a $40 Kohl's credit on my Kohl's card from returning those shoes. I'll see what they have for pillows.

Linda asked to see pictures of the dog food bin/slide out in my new laundry room cabinet.

DH fortified the screws that hold the sliding contraption down, so it should hold the weight of the food, when it's full.

99 degrees today and tomorrow. Bleh. I am so thankful for a/c in the house. If we still lived in our house in town (with a window a/c unit) it would have been non-stop complaining by dh of how miserable he is. We would have had to install a/c (and if we had stayed in that house, we would for sure have).

I need to get my Walmart order put in this morning and figure out the pick up time and visit mom time. I think I'll just get in early to see her, like before 10am, so I can get out of there before her lunch time at noon and pick up my order around noon.

Yesterday I was getting texts from my mom's tv/internet provider about a technician service call. Then when I talked to her after lunch she said something was getting changed with their tv's and someone was supposed to come to her apartment. She said people were talking about it at breakfast and lunch, so it must be something with either their cable box or internet box. She also (again) mentioned she and her guy friend weren't seeing each other as often, "which is ok". LOL.

Late yesterday afternoon dh was walking from the shop to the house and heard a drone overhead. It was moving down our street, towards the entrance, then it turned around and went back the other way. With all the trees and a bit of a rise in the road/land we can't see if anyone is farther down towards the neighbors on the end lot. Dh went upstairs to look out a window and saw a truck and 2 guys outside. One flying the drone and another an older guy dressed nicely. We are assuming that the owner of the next 2 lots is probably getting ready to list for sale. He has owned them since the property was originally sold (like 2007). We have never ever seen him at the property. We had kind of thought/hoped that when he didn't list it last summer, at the peak of the land selling craziness, maybe he was just planning to hold on to them. It will be interesting to see what they list for, if that is what is going on (can't think of any other reason someone would be out here with a drone). Zillow has our house at $910k, and a range of  $737k and 1.1 million. But, the description only lists the house, not the shop.

Housing prices are just blowing me away. A 2 br/2 ba spec type house on 5 acres, near us, just listed yesterday for almost 1/2 a million. My boss just moved and bought a house and the market in her area in really nuts. I looked up her new address and it's an older 1960's  ranch style home (remodeled inside though), 2300 sf, on one acre and was 1.2 million. Our rich friend, who listed his super nice house on acreage, last year, never did sell it (I think it was like 4.2 million and he paid like half that 3 years earlier). Our HVAC guy still has his place listed for 2.1 million.  

I'm scrolling through Kohl's throw pillows online......seriously?!! $165 for a throw pillow????

Thursday, July 29, 2021

9 months later

We finally got that big laundry room cabinet. (gee, I only tried to order that back in late October!) During lunch time we drove to the "shop" where the cabinet lady said she would meet us to pick it up (down the road from her showroom place). I had told her around noon and she said to just text or call her when we are enroute (30 min drive) and she will meet us there to open the shop and help load. So, as we're pulling out of our driveway I text. 5 min later the text comes back as unable to deliver. I call and of course just get her voicemail. I left a message and retried the text and it seemed to go through. The whole drive dh is throwing a fit that she's not going to be there. Of course she wasn't there, but there were several other people there, working. None seemed to know we were coming, but one helpful guy found the cabinet and helped dh load it. I left the check with him and we are done with that lady!

It took dh (since he doesn't do this every day and he was one guy) almost 2 hours to install it, but the time he got the crown molding and bottom trim put on. Plus he had to re-do the slide out for the dog bin in the bottom cabinet. It needed to be moved more to the middle and he also put a board underneath to screw the slider thing into for much more stability. So, I now open the bottom cupboard and can slide out the dog food bin and then on a shelf above it are treats and such. Much nicer all out of sight. I am going to find a bench with shoe storage underneath to put in that open corner area, that is next to the door that goes into the garage. Since we saved $300 doing the install ourselves, I'll put that budgeted money toward a bench.

And, FINALLY, I got an email WITH TRACKING that that birdie lamp I ordered last December finally shipped, LOL. I'll believe it when I see it. 

I was just online with Amazon looking at when something is to arrive I ordered earlier this week. I was looking at the page for the duvet cover I just ordered, thinking to leave a review and noticed that in the other color options (I ordered "cinnamon rust") there is also a "burnt orange". Now I am really wondering if that is what they sent me. I was a touch disappointed that the duvet was much orange-r than I had thought, and just chalked it up to colors look different on computers then real life, sometimes. I think I will take a pic of it and contact the seller to see what they think. It's funny, it came when dd was here and she helped me put it on the comforter. I happened to have a "cinmamon rust" colored tshirt on and said to her, this is the color I was going for..

DH hadn't washed his truck and car trailer yet. Between the trip and then having to spend most of Sunday mowing, he's been tired. We have a self serve car wash in town, but the one and only time we tried to use it, shortly after we moved over there, all's we could see from how it worked is that the machine to turn it on said "tokens only" and no clue how to get those and the business it's attached to was closed for the day. But, we decided to check again so he could try to spray off all the bugs and grime. Well, now they have a machine to make change from bills, it takes quarters or a credit card. DH has this planters peanuts jar full of quarters, so we decided to use up some of those. It took him a good half hour to spray wash and spray off both, but he was happy to get it done. I just kept feeding quarters as his time got low. Of course I have no idea how many I put in and of course when we got in the truck to leave he says "how much did you spend?" I just held up the peanut jar to show him how many were left and said "this much". LOL

As we were leaving to go to the car wash he mentioned he's so stressed (but doesn't know why). I have no idea what he could be stressed about (which seems to be most of the time). He doesn't have to work, he doesn't have to worry about money, he can do what he wants, when he wants, for the most part. I do know the transmission problem (which he will figure out at some point) is stressing him, worrying it's going to be a costly fix. But, it's always something with him. As soon as one "issue" gets resolved he's bothered by some other issue. He's been that way his whole life.

I'm working on my grocery list for pick up Saturday and a visit with my mom. We haven't had dinner all week, LOL. It's been nice, but I have a feeling dh is now ready to eat some regular dinner meals again. I'm going to pull a couple steaks out of the freezer this morning for tonight's dinner.

My chickens are still all missing feathers from their butts and the littlest one has other areas she's missing some. Before I left for our trip I bought a block of scratch, to give them something to peck at (if it is them pecking each other, which I really don't think it is). The other solution that was mentioned several times when my sister posted the problem on her chicken facebook page, was the chickens need more protein. I had bought a bag of higher protein pellets, also before I left, but decided to wait until I got home to switch them to that food. So, they've been eating on that most of the week now. I hope that fixes the issue. Other comments were they are bored, but we don't have the option to free range. 

This week seems to be going slow. 95 again today. It looks like next week we might finally be down in the 80's. I hope so.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Taking time off

Well, that was a fine way to start my morning, this morning. I grab a coffee cup hanging on the cup hook and make my cup in the Keurig. As I'm stirring in my creamer there's a big bug floating in my coffee! Ewww! it must have been in the cup to begin with. So, I had to start over and I'm still creeped out.

Now, I'm trying to get caught up on the blogs I enjoy reading. I sent the cabinet lady an email about us picking up the cabinet today around noon. I guess it's stored at some shop they have, down the road from their showroom. Like dh said, if they won't make time to install it, with the headaches she's caused with this, going on 9 months now, they should at least deliver it to us. Haha, who are we kidding?! She at least did reply back to me fairly quickly and said that would be fine, just text or call her when we are en route (she's about half hour drive) and she'll meet us over at their shop.

I'm starting to come to the conclusion that I really need to start using up more of my PTO time off work. It's a catch 22 though. I take time off, I get behind, but a day or two here and there isn't too bad. I currently have 245 hours on the books. I have taken 17 days off so far this year. Just to keep up with what I earn each year I need to take off 27 days a year - and that doesn't even dip into the 245! I would like to leave 160 hours in reserve, 4 weeks, just for any long term illness that might come up. We get short term disability, but it's partial pay, at I think 60%.

But, mostly I feel like I just need to start taking it because I've earned it and because since I haven't gotten a raise in over 2 years, I might as well take my time off I've earned and work less days for awhile. I guess if I get behind, I get behind. Tentatively, I'm taking the last week in Sept off (if my friend comes to visit), the day before Thanksgiving, and Dec 22-31 (of which a couple of those days are paid holidays). That brings me up to taking 29 days for the year and only using 2 of what I have built up from previous years. I need to take more! LOL. I've got days off written down now for Sept, Nov and Dec. I just need to add 2-3 more and take a day off here and there in August and October, too. Ok, I just put in for a total of 14 days between now and the end of the year. That uses me up 31 days for the year, so 4 days of my carry forward days used up. Starting next year I'm going to be more mindful of scheduling days off throughout the year, so ,at a minimum, get what I earn for the year taken.

Speaking of my friend coming for about 5 days. The weather should be decent. DH and I will have to think of a few things to go and do with her while she's here, so she can see some of the area. One day probably just take her to town and show her around and drive over to the next town which has a big touristy gift shop and a big antique store. The small town on the other side of us has a neat used book store she would probably enjoy, too. Maybe take a drive to the bison range for the day, if they are still open. Other than just kind of driving around looking at scenery, there isn't a whole lot to do here, LOL. Probably take her into the city one day for window shopping. There's an elk foundation exhibit that is kind of neat, if she's interested in seeing that.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Back to normal life

It took me most of the day to get through all my emails yesterday (and keep up with new ones). I finally got through the majority of them by 3pm and then I was ready for a nap, LOL. My boss ended up being out 4 of the 8 days I was also gone, so there were a lot of requests that needed to be addressed. Today is payroll day already, seems like I just did it. At least my boss was thinking ahead and emailed me some adjustments that need to be made, since she's off this week. And so many vacations taken this payroll, along with 2 new hires and other odd quirks.

DH made a neat video out of all the pics and videos from the surprise. Friend really enjoyed it. Thank god several people were recording the event as dh had me use his phone to record and his phone ran out of memory right as we pulled up in the car, in front of friend. He needs a phone with more memory, since he takes so many pictures and videos. He only has 32 gb, and his phone is a few years old now, so I think I'll order him a new iphone. Not an 11 or 12, those are too expensive, and he only has a 7 right now. Seems like before you could buy new phones of older models with Verizon (that's how I got my 6 less than 3 years ago) but now they are all "used/certified pre-owned". The only new ones are 11, 12 and an XR (which is the least expensive one). When we got dh's last phone we bought it at the Verizon store and they transferred everything from his old phone. When I got my last phone I had it mailed to me and did a transfer per the instructions and it worked great. Everything on my old phone transferred. I just want to order dh's new phone that way, but I'm afraid it won't work, LOL. Everything with his stuff always seems to not work.

While dd had our dog, she gave him a good brushing and a bath. He feels so soft and clean now. But dang, that dog still sheds like crazy.

While we were in Texas our friends told us about a friend of theirs, who was supposed to be at the party. He's 69 and got the covid vaccine, sounds like maybe in June. He got covid a few days before their party and was really sick with it. How frustrating that must feel! 

We had our propane tank filled up yesterday. Just another thing that has gone up in price/inflation. It's hard to keep up with inflation and not get a raise in the past 2 years and not get our usual bonus. It was so fun paying $3.50 a gallon for diesel on our trip.

ok, so got some town gossip from the propane guy, LOL. He's new, first time delivering to us. Get this - he bought the house next door to where we had lived in town - remember it was a rental and we had that awful renter neighbor? First him and his wife and 2 little kids, then his girlfriend and her 2 little kids. Well, after we sold, the lady that owned it finally decided to sell it and this guy and his wife bought it. Said it was pretty much trashed inside. The renter guy and his girlfriend had gotten a dog after we moved and it was left inside all day. He said the carpeting was torn to shreds and the dog had used one of the cupboards missing a door as his pooping place. Just disgusting. Renter had been renting a shop in another part of town (after landlord finally got him to stop with using the garage as his business to repair cars). Well, I guess after the guy who bought our house moved in, that renter talked him into using his shop out back! Apparently in small worldville turns out this guy that bought our house knew renters parents...then he told dh that the guy that used to be the UPS driver in town started having an affair with renter's girlfriend, LOL. She had (another?) baby with renter guy, but now she's with this UPS guy. Like dh said, you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried, LOL. He also said the street/neighborhood is nice (now). And apparently the guy that bought the lot and built a house on the other side of the rental house also bought all 4 vacant lots on the other side of the street and plans to build houses to sell.

Monday, July 26, 2021

The trip back home

The drive home was harder. We were worn out and trying to make it a quicker trip home by driving longer days. We didn't have to make the detour to the town in Wyoming on the way home, so we were able to drive north through Denver, saving a little bit of time. Plus, the friend in Billings wanted us to stop by on our way home and go to dinner and we wanted to take him and his wife to dinner, to thank him for fixing our a/c (he wouldn't let us pay him). So, first day we drove 10 1/2 hours, back to that nicer hotel in Colorado we stayed at coming down. Only, it didn't feel as nice the 2nd time, LOL. We were just in the room next door, but it just didn't feel the same. The check in guy wasn't as nice or professional. The room had a weird smell. The walls were scuffed and looked dingy. The pillows were awful and dh said his bed (we had 2 queens) was saggy in the middle. The food from their little "lounge" was bad the 2nd time. 

The second day we drove from there to Billings. Another 10 1/2 hours. DH had called his friend the day before to see if they still wanted to meet up for dinner. They kindly offered us to stay at their house for the night, which we took them up on. We got there right at 6, which was when he closes his business for the day. But, by the time we got to eat at a restaurant nearby their house, it was after 7pm again and we didn't get back to their house until like 9pm.  We were up and left at 7am, about a 5 1/2 hour drive home.

Both going down and coming home dh was having some weird issue with his transmission. Very intermittent. It started about 2 hours before we got to the motel in Texas that 3rd night. Then worked fine all the way until 2 hours before home. Just didn't want to go into overdrive or something and then the gauge for the transmission would heat up some, compared to what it did before. Thankfully it wasn't anything too bad and we made it home fine, but something dh will definitely have to figure out what is causing it.

We got home at 1pm on Friday and our gate opened fine. Dh got laundry started and relaxed on his computer. I took a nap. Saturday morning we had to leave at 7:45 for a 3 1/4 hour drive to meet up halfway with DD to pick up our dog. And the gate wouldn't open again. Not sure what is causing that, but it's in the mornings it won't open all the way. Driving again was the last thing we both felt like doing, but had to get done. At least it was in our car and not his pickup. Pup was sure happy to see us. We chatted with dd about 15-20 minutes and headed home. At least 6 1/2 or so hours felt easy compared to 10 1/2, LOL.

Sunday morning dh got up and started mowing the lawn. We have an automatic sprinkler system, so I have no idea why dh had thought it would be all brown when we got home. It was totally fine, though overgrown, of course. 

It's just so nice to be home. I really love my house and it's setting. While it's much cheaper to live in Texas, it's just not for us. We like trees and mountains around us. And less people. Wyoming was ok (and only half a million people live in that state) but for the most part it's pretty desolate and windy, at least where we went through. I wasn't a fan of Colorado much, but I'm sure the western side of the state is prettier. We got to go through a corner of Nebraska and through the Oklahoma panhandle to get into Texas. 

Saturday, with the party and going out to dinner and all I asked dd to call my mom and check in on her. She told dd she was missing her credit card and thought someone might be charging on it. Oh good grief. She wasn't sure if it was her credit card or her debit card, so, while we are waiting to be seated I'm on my phone trying to log into both to see if anything is amiss. Thank goodness for dd's idea to take a picture of all my logins and passwords, so I had them handy. Everything was fine with her accounts. I called her the next day and she didn't mention the credit card at all, so I just didn't bring it up. I'll check on it when I go visit her next. I really don't think she remembered we were on vacation any of the times I called her. I didn't call her every day, just every other day or so. Maybe if I had been calling her daily and reminding her we were on vacation she would have remembered eventually. 

I feel like I need a stomach cleanse LOL. Too much food. I have a feeling friends eat out most of their meals, from the sounds of it. Other than the food at the birthday party (lunch time), we ate out every lunch and dinner for 4 days. Even dh said, after I made dinner on Saturday night, let's just eat light dinners of sandwiches or cereal or something the next several days.

I'm glad I brought my own pillow to sleep on. Only one hotel bed was uncomfortable (first night) and the beds at both friends we stayed at were really comfortable, but I always sleep better with my own pillow. Dh can sleep with any pillow, haha.

Being a house guest gave me ideas for what I need to have/do when I have guest(s). Most of it, I already have in place. Like a night stand on both sides of the bed - somewhere to set your glasses and phone, etc. I have night stands on both sides. Both friends guest rooms only had them on one side. Tissues, which I do have in each room (so did friend). More wash cloths and towels. A luggage stand or somewhere to set your suitcase, other than on the floor. One of my bedrooms has a "table" at the end of the bed (the log table with eagle scene burned into it), but I have a feeling people would think they shouldn't set something on top of it, LOL. The other room has a long dresser with nothing on it, that a suitcase could be set on, but if there are 2 people staying, it would be nice to have something for both suitcases, so I'm going to look for a folding suitcase stand to have on hand. Shower wash gel is nice, rather than a bar of soap in the shower, so I'm going to exchange that. I have a bottle of shampoo, but I'm also going to get some conditioner for my guest shower. 

I think my friend is still planning to come at the end of Sept for about 4 days. Before we left on our trip she said she put in for her days off and once approved she'd look for flights. I messaged her while we were on our trip to ask if she got her time off approved and she said yes, but she hadn't looked at flights yet. I haven't heard anymore from her about it.

At least, now that I've seen friends house we stayed at, I know more what her style and likes are. We usually exchange Christmas gifts with them and I never have known what to get them as I had never seen inside or pictures. She doesn't do Facebook and our friend/her hubby doesn't post inside pics, LOL. I wouldn't say she has a certain style of decor in her house, other than her kitchen is pretty farmhouse. And while we were shopping we passed some windchimes and she said she likes them but they are so now I know exactly what to send them for Christmas - the nice Corinthian Bells wind chimes :)

I'm back to work today. Endless emails to go through, of course. I got up a little early to get started on it all. I tried to check my emails from my phone every so often, while on the trip, just to delete out all the junk emails or ones that didn't require any action on my part. My boss is on vacation this week, so at least there won't be things coming from her right off the bat, haha. I didn't realize she was also gone most of the time I was off! I thought she had said she would just be gone 2 days, but she was gone 4 of the days.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Enjoying friends and Texas time

Did I mention it's hot in Texas? and muggy? YUCK! It was hot in Wyoming and Colorado on the way, too. But, Dallas area is muggy. DH was soaking wet by the time he got the car unloaded off the car trailer at nearby neighbors house. 

Friends wife had us drive to a neighbor about 1/2 mile from their house, about an hour before the party. Those people were going to the party too, so they got the text to come over. Friend was on an errand his wife sent him on and everyone was to arrive then, except us. We were to wait until he got back home and got surprised with the party. Then wife told him one more surprise coming. We had to wait about a half hour, so we finally got smart and just went and sat in our pickup with the engine and a/c running to stay cool. Dh changed shirts, haha.

Finally we got the "go". Dh drove the muscle car over and down their long driveway with everyone standing outside. Friend didn't know what to think. As we got closer he realized it was us. He said his first thought was dh got a muscle car and drove it all the way from Montana?! When dh got out of the car he kept hugging dh (crying of course. He had already been crying from getting surprised by the party) thanking him for coming. Dh kept trying to pull away, LOL. Finally, he did and held out the keys to friend. Friend was so confused and shocked, LOL. He's like what? this is for me? Yep, just delivering your wife's present! Lots more crying, haha. Needless to say us, and wife, were relieved this was finally over with.

Someone got a good video of it all and then she shared it with us via Airdrop to our phones (learned something new!). After friend finally realized it was his, LOL, dh said take me for a drive in it to go get my pick up and trailer. Friend did a burnout along their nice driveway. A few asked dh why he didn't come in all fast and revving it up. Dh said "it's not my car, it's his to get to do that with".  He and dh have been friends for 40 years.

We all moved inside (did I mention it's hot and muggy there??) where it was much more comfortable and ate and visited. We only knew one other person there, friends brother (he's the one who drove our semi trailer of belongings to Montana for us). The rest were local friends they have made the past 5 years. She had invited a few from our old home state, but they didn't come. Another was a lady who's his wife's best friend. She actually lives in Montana just a couple hours from us. She was so much fun. We really enjoyed getting to know her.

The rest of our stay there we stayed at friends house, so no hotels (yay). His brother flew out Sunday morning, so then it was just us and wife's good friend. We kept busy. Sunday we went to the Ft. Worth Stockyards, which was lots of fun. Thank god all the shops have a/c, as it was like 97 outside. Very crowded, but not so bad you couldn't enjoy yourself. At one store I was able to find another cowhide rug. One that fits my bathroom this time. We were looking through some of them, but they were either the small calf hide size or really big ones. I told friend's wife I need something in between. She found a guy that worked there and asked him and then she came and got me to where there was a big stack of in between sized. The guy helped me look through them and pulled out a couple I thought I might like. I was explaining to him I'm using it in my bathroom and he said well, if it's too big, just cut it! Oh, I never thought of that!  I haven't cut it yet, I just folded it under, but this fits much better.

We went to a candy store where you grab a bucket and fill up what you want and it's charged by weight. I would have picked all chocolate stuff, but it would've melted, so we got what dh wanted which was a bunch of different taffy flavors and butterscotch. $24 for a bag of candy. LOL. We had lunch at one of the restaurants. Even though it was busy there, we got seated right away and served quickly. At 4pm we watched the longhorns go by

I also sat on the longhorn where you could take a picture. I think everyone thought I wouldn't do it, haha. Heck ya! I'll get on him.

Dinner every night ended up being like 7 or 8pm. I'm so not used to that. Nor used to eating so much (lunch and dinner) every day. Even Saturday evening, after the party we ended up going out for Mexican food.  I've lost track of where we all ate now. We did do In and Out Burgers for dinner and that was good. 

Monday we drove around and went to this HUGE gas station with a HUGE store. Buc-cee's or something like that. Half gift shop, half food, half food to go. We all got something to take with us and that was lunch. Sandwiches, Kolachee's. etc. Then we drove to Texas Motor Speedway. There happened to be a gate open so we went inside and looked at the track. There was some kind of high school solar car competition going on, so we watched that a bit. I think this was the evening we went to In and Out Burgers. Dh and friend drove the muscle car, we rode in wife's car. 

Wife's friend flew out Tuesday morning. We decided to stay and leave Wednesday morning. Friend's wife and I took off down to Waco (about an hour away) to see Magnolia Silos, which was a lot of fun. A lot of stuff to look at and immaculate everything, but way too expensive of stuff. Friend had been there a few years earlier and said they weren't charging for parking then. Now it's $10. Chip and Joanna sure know how to market their brand, though. We got lunch from one of the little trailers serving food and sat over in a nice seating area with comfy cushioned chairs and fans blowing. No one else was even over in that area, so it was nice and quiet.

The guys were supposed to just hang out at home (and dh wanted to do some laundry LOL) but when we got back they were gone. They had gone to some huge auto parts store down there. Everything is huge in Texas. Even their rest areas on the freeways are huge and really nice.

We went out to dinner to a nice restaurant. Finally we got the check, LOL. They wouldn't let us pay for anything. Again this was dinner at like 7 or 8pm. 

Breakfasts were a pretty much fend for yourself with what they had. Usually I just had a cup of coffee and a piece of toast or a banana.  They sleep in quite a bit later than us, LOL. They have a really nice 3200  sf house on 5 acres and have been having it professionally landscaped. Brick (everything is brick there) estate type looking house. Friend has a huge shop. It was big to begin with and he added on to it and more than doubled in size. They have a nice pool and hot tub, which they also updated and landscaped around it nicely.

Us girls got in the pool for a couple hours on Monday afternoon, while the guys were gone, which was nice and refreshing. We all never seemed to run out of anything to talk about.

Then Wednesday started the 1750 mile drive back home.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Glad to be home again

We finally got back home yesterday around 1pm. Whew! 10 days gone is too long, especially with 6 of it riding in a truck. We left last Wednesday at 7am. Couldn't get our of our gate! It would only open partway. DH had to fiddle with that for a half hour and finally just gave up and turned the controller off and then took off the arms attached to the gate, so we could get out. Then he re-attached and we left. Not a good way to start out.

We had a good 10 hour day of driving ahead of us to get to where the car was in Wyoming. At first the a/c was working great, but as the next few hours went along it just wasn't keeping us very cool. As we got near Great Falls, MT, dh called up his buddy who owns a truck/trailer repair shop and asked him if he could see if our a/c needed charging. He's a great guy and said of course, stop right in. He did have to charge it a bit. It only took him like 15 minutes. We spent more time than that just chatting with him. An hour later we left. The a/c worked much better after that.

We got to the place where we were picking up the muscle car at 6:30pm. This guy has like a used car/classic car type business in a very small town. 2 1/2 hour of bs'ing, getting the car loaded, more bs'ing. We finally got to the little motel down the street at 9pm. Nothing fancy at all, but it worked. We had had no dinner, but thankfully I had packed stuff in our cooler to make some sandwiches. We crashed and headed back out at like 7am. The next 2 days we had shorter 7-8 hour drives planned to where we had booked rooms, so that was much better. Both Thurs and Fri we got to our motels around 3 or 4 pm, so we had some time to relax and get a decent nights sleep. The second night was a nice motel in a small Colorado town. Except right after we got there dh got a weather alert on his phone. Possible tornado - wind, rain and 2" hail possible. He was freaking out about the hail. #1 for this muscle car on his open trailer and #2 for his nice pickup truck. Thankfully it didn't hit where we were and we only had a little wind and rain for a short period. The 3rd night motel was pretty much a dump, and disappointing after having a nice room the night before.

Friday we drove down into Texas and stopped and stayed about 90 minutes from friends place. The town was called Bowie. We thought it was pronounced "Bow (like bow and arrow) ie". Nope. It's pronounced Boo-ie, LOL. We didn't need to be at friends town until Saturday morning later and dh wanted to stay in a small town, not a suburb of Ft. Worth, where friends live, and not any chance friend might see our truck and this car on our trailer LOL.

Saturday at noon was the surprise birthday party. It turned out great and boy was he surprised!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The last day of the visit and vacation bound

DD left about 10am Sunday morning. She figured she would have a longer drive home - always more traffic on Sundays getting over the pass. She took our pup with her. He jumped right up in her truck, but I'm sure he thought we were all going for a ride. He's a really good car rider and she said he was perfect. It took her like 8 hours to get home. Had 2 traffic back up to contend with. I just sent pups big dog food bin with her instead of measuring out what he would need. It was half full, so not super heavy and then just put the rest of his treats and supplies inside that.  He wasn't interested in eating dinner when she got to her house, nor was he Monday morning, but that's to be expected. Finally, around noon she tried putting a milkbone on top of his food and then he decided to eat. She said he's seemed content to hang out with her in her home office while she works. He's smiling and happy in the pics she sends.

I was ready for a nap at 10am after she left, LOL. It was busy long days, plus I stayed up like an hour or more than I usually do those days she was here. So, it was good to have the rest of Sunday to relax (and nap).

DH is just beside himself with stress, growing by the minute. Every little thing is stressing him out. It is not really going to be a fun or relaxing trip, that's for sure. I wish I could just stay home. The only reason I was going in the first place is because I thought we were going to actually make it a little vacation and have fun. Oh well, I should have known better. I'm sure once he gets down there and see friends reaction to him showing up and the car he brings, haha, he'll feel better.

My friend (the one who's husband cheated on her and left her) is working on planning a visit to spend several days here with dh and myself at the end of September. I hope it works out that she can make it. She is going to look for flights now that we have worked out a date range. We have never met her in person! She is a long time Facebook friend that we got to know more and more over the years. We have so much fun on Facebook and it should be really fun having her here for a visit.

I got everything I wanted/needed to get done with my jobs about 2:30 so that was a relief not to be rushing to get stuff done at 4:30, when I'm off. 10 whole days off work! 

Now to finish packing and what not. I need to run into town after dinner and pick up some snacks and some bags of ice. DH wants to try to pull out of here at 7am tomorrow morning. I doubt I will make any posts while we are gone. Trying to type on my ipad mini is too much work. But, we'll see..........

Antique store finds

Saturday morning the antique store opened up at 10, so we headed straight for there about 9:30.  We were using dd's pickup to haul the 2 things. First we went to make sure both items were still there. I didn't have her put a hold on them. I figured there was so much stuff in that store (and not many customers) and when we left it was only going to be open a couple more hours and we'd be there first thing next morning. Both items were still there and I told the lady up front what I wanted. When we were looking to make sure the church pew was there, there was a picture hanging nearby that dd had been looking at the day before. She really liked it, so she decided to get that for herself. I walked back with the lady to show her which items I wanted and dd went to get the truck pulled up to loading. As we are walking back to the register I spotted another small item I liked and grabbed that. We could probably have spent all day in there looking around and still not seen everything. 

The hutch top part came off the base, with some screws, so they got that off to make it easier to carry and load. She brought the church pew over to the door and it wasn't too heavy, dd and I carried it out to her truck and it just fit in the extended cab behind her front seats perfect (her back seat folds up). She and the lady carried out the top of the hutch and while dd was getting it fitted back inside the canopy and put a blanket and ratchet strap just to make sure it stayed put, two of the ladies working there brought out the base, so that was nice not to have to carry. I just had them ring up dd's picture with the whole order and bought that for her.

DD had also wanted to stop at a used bookstore we'd been to on a previous visit here, but several years ago. We had just run out of time Friday, so we did that on the way home. Just a cute stuffed bookstore in an old house. DD bought 3 books and I bought a coffee table book about hummingbirds that was only $4.95.

We got home about 12:30 and dh helped dd unload and bring into the house. He got the 3 big bins that still had china stuff in it, packed since 2016 now! Finally, I was able to have somewhere to put this stuff. We unloaded the bins onto the dining table to see what was what. I gave dd a few things I didn't want/need and also found some more pieces of the dishes set I gave her awhile back. I think we were done with it all by 2pm.

I am loving the church pew. It fit perfect where we wanted to put it. I am going to get a couple of small throw pillows to set on it.

The hutch really finished off the dining room and makes it feel less empty and I think the wood goes perfect with my table and chairs.

The cowboy and the duck....

The duck isn't a decoy. It's 2 pieces and like a bowl on the bottom piece. It's super heavy.

Saturday afternoon/eve the wind shifted and it started getting smokey outside. There was a big Chinook helicopter that came in to fill up in the river. He was right in front of our house and starting to drop down and then saw the stupid floaters. He ended up filling up just a bit past our neighbors at the end of our street. With all the trees we couldn't see him filling up. Within a very short time he was back, at the same spot. We started to go down there to watch, but he pulled out before we could get halfway there. I texted neighbor to ask if they could see if from their property and she said yes, come on down to watch (we were almost there, LOL). So, we chatted with them, waiting for it to come back, but it never did. Like dh said, 2 fill ups with that big Chinook is like 10 fill ups of the smaller helicopter that was filling up the previous couple days.

The rest of the evening we played some more cribbage and watched another movie. It was still really too hot out to spend much time sitting on the patio. 95 is too hot. We really haven't even gotten to enjoy our new patio dining set much at all this summer. It's been between 93 and 100 almost every day.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Friday fun

Friday we wanted to visit with my mom a couple hours and do some shopping. I also wanted to pick up a grocery order (though not near as large as I usually get, mostly dry goods stuff).  We left at 9 am and got to the city about 9:40 and stopped at TJ Maxx first. We had told my mom we'd be there at 11. I had a $50 gift card (from DD, for Mother's Day) to use. I ended up buying a big sautee pan and some extra teaspoons. I seem to be missing some spoons, LOL. DD bought a cute cake plate. The spoons came in a box of 8, so I gave dd 4 of them.

I had asked my mom if she wanted us to pick her up anything and she said milk, bread, and instant oatmeal....oh and pepcid ac. I said why are you taking that? you are already on Omeprazole, so you shouldn't be taking something else. Apparently her guy friend gave her some and she wanted more. We got her items at Target. By then it was getting close to 11, so we headed over to my mom's. DD was doing all the driving, so that was a nice break for me, and less tiring.

We visited with my mom, with plans to go over to have lunch at Arby's a little before noon. I wanted to get her one bottle of meds that needs the pills cut in half all cut up. Couldn't find them. The refills she got a few weeks ago (that I had finally found in her kitchen cupboard, when I took her to the dr. 10 days ago) were not in the kitchen cupboard, but on her table. But, no bottle of the one that needed cut in half. Looked everywhere, twice. Well crap! She didn't have enough left of her previous bottle to get through until I get back from our trip. Crap! (that was a bit stressful for me) I didn't know my Alliance rx log in to see if I had refilled it. I thought sure I did, I thought I refilled all 4 at same time. But, Alliance is part of Walgreens, so we decided to stop in there after lunch and see what the pharmacy could do to help. We get to Arbys and they have a sign on the door their lobby is temporarily closed (sounds like lack of help). So, we then went over to Walgreens and apparently I didn't refill it last month with the other 3, so they filled it there, while we waited about 15 minutes. Then back to Arby's drive through, which was a long line/wait, but so was every other place to eat. We took our food back to her apartment and had lunch there and visited a little longer and left at 1pm.

DH wanted some Huckleberry Vodka (one for her and one for a friend), so we stopped in liquor store and found that for her. Then we went to Kohl's, where I needed to return some shoes I bought online that didn't fit well. Next stop was a big antique store downtown. We both enjoy browsing through antique stores. My grocery pick up was scheduled between 3 and 4pm, so we had plenty of time to browse. It was 4 floors of antiques. Right off the bat I found a western cowboy sculpture I liked, so I grabbed that.

A couple sections over they had a church pew that was exactly what I've been looking for/wanting. DH and I had seen a couple at the antique store we usually go to, but that was when we were building and didn't have room (or extra money) then to buy one. They were priced about $425. Then last time we were there they had one church pew for over $700, so I passed on it. This one was $495. A little more than I wanted to spend, but I kept it in mind. They had a second, similar one in another section for same price, but I liked the first one better. As we browsed there were a few china hutches, which I have been looking for since we finished the house, but haven't wanted to spend $1200 for one (that's what the other antique store were mostly priced at). We've been watching Craigslist and Marketplace but haven't seen anything I wanted, but I figured at some point going to have to spent a lot for one. I really had hoped these past 2 years to find an older china hutch for like $500.

We browse some more and I see a hutch that I really like and in good condition. I look at the price tag. $235! I had to look at it twice to make sure that's all it really was. There was no way to fit either the church pew or the hutch in my car, obviously. DD said well, since I have my pickup (with canopy) with me we should come back and get them tomorrow morning, so that's what we decided to do.

As we're walking out of the antique store at 3pm I get a text from Walmart that my order has been delayed and they will let me know an update as soon as it's ready. Well, great. I had planned on 2 quick stops after getting grocery pick up that was on the way home, but we decided to go out of route and go to those 2 stops while we wait for Walmart to text. We picked up on online order at the feed store and stopped at the bank ATM so I could get cash out for the trip. Still no text from Walmart and it's almost 3:30. We were also planning on going inside Walmart to get subway sandwiches to take home for dinner, so I wouldn't have to cook. ok, let's fill up with gas across from Walmart. Drive over to Walmart and still no text. Go inside to get Subway and there is no more Subway inside Walmart. In fact they were emptying it out as we stood there and went "well dang". LOL.

We drive back over to the pick up section and still no text. It's now 3:40. How long are we supposed to wait?? A young girl was loading up a car next to us. We were the only other car. It's not like they were busy and running behind! I got out and asked the girl how long it might be? She put my name in her phone thingy and said ok, let me see if that helps. About 5 minutes later she comes out with my order. So, obviously it was sitting there, ready! As she's going out the door she somehow knocked over the water and soda bins. For some idiotic reason they put them on the top and made her load top heavy. Stupid. We sit there and watch her and another worker spend 5 minutes trying to decide what to do. Finally she comes over and says are you're substitutions ok? I said I have no idea. I haven't gotten any texts or emails on it. I said did the water and soda make it ok through the fall. She said the water did, but one of the soda's did not and another associate was bringing a new one out (case of Mtn Dew), which he then did. She gets out one of the fallen cases of soda and it's all wet on the bottom. She says it's ok, it's just wet from that other case. DD and I looked at each other and said, no, we'd like a new one. I'm not putting a sticky wet soda case in the back of my car. She seemed annoyed. By the dd and I were annoyed. (I finally got a text at 2:30am the next morning my order was ready??)

Finally, got the replacement case of soda and on our way. We then had to go to another Subway. DD and I decided we probably weren't going to be hungry for much dinner so I just got dh a sandwich. OMG! The girl did NOT know how to make a sandwich! I said one squirt of mustard. She put on more mustard than mayo. I'm like noo! That's way too much, so she took off the tomatoes under it and re did it. Then I said for the rest just salt and pepper and oil and vinegar. She didn't know where the salt and pepper shaker was. Then she just pours on the salt and pepper. I'm like stop! OMG. By then I was so annoyed and so tired and just wanted to be done with all of it. I should have made her re do the whole sandwich. I just took the sandwich and told dh I hope he likes salt and pepper. He said it was the worst sandwich ever.

We spent the evening playing cribbage and watching a couple movies.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Back to it

Since I haven't posted in several days (busy with dd's visit), there's much to say! Might break this down into recap post by day, haha.

First off - forest fires all around us. UGH! They started on Wednesday from lightning, though the biggest fire, closest to us, has been said cause unknown. We were lucky the first couple days in that the wind was blowing away from us, but now it's changed, so the air is smokey. This fire closest to us (less than 5 miles) was about 50 acres, now it's 160 acres. Kind of hard to get it out with only 2 drops from a bucket yesterday. They did bring in the bigger Chinook helicopter yesterday and he dipped into the river right down by our neighbors at the end of our street, but he only did it twice. We thought he'd be back so went down to their property to watch, but he didn't come back. We visited with the neighbors and their little shy 4 year old isn't shy anymore. He took right to dd and just chatted her up a storm. I've never heard him talk that much. It was really cute. And then at one point when we were standing there talking to his dad he walks up next to dh and holds his hand.

Now of course, dh is worried about leaving our house unattended for 9 days. As if he didn't already have enough causing him stress.

DD arrived Wednesday night at 9pm. She made good time at 6 1/2 hours. Usually when she drives with her dh it takes them 8 hours LOL. We visited until about 10:45 and went to bed. She had to work Thursday, so I also worked and we just shared my office and got to be office buddies for the day. I just set up a folding table in the office and she brought her work laptop and an extra monitor. We finished up at 3:30 and were able to just relax the rest of the day evening. We did take a drive after it got dark as they said the fire could be seen from down the road a few miles. The helicopters with the buckets seem to be having a hard time finding spots to dip in the river as there are floaters and fishermen on it. Get the hell off the river and let them do their work. God, it's annoying. That Chinook was right over the river in front of our house yesterday after dinner and looked like he was planning to drop right there but then there were stupid floaters and he had to go back up and circle around to find a better spot. 

Friday we went to see my mom. That was a long exhausting day. Even dd was tired, LOL. 

Next up: Friday


Thursday, July 8, 2021


I've started doing some again. It makes my head hurt. Too many names and dates. I wish there was a way to have info up on both my monitors so I can look at the new info and then also look back at the tree to match up names and dates I already have, rather than back and forth. I did find out I have more Scottish ancestry than I thought. My grandfather (father's dad) came to America from Scotland when he was 4 years old with his parents, my great grandparents (supposedly I'm named after my great grandmother). My last research awhile back I wasn't able to get any father back in Scotland than my great grandparents info. But, it appears now I'm finding 3 more generations back for great-grandfathers. At least I added them and will see what info there is. I'm not sure how to really know for sure, when there isn't much to go on but one record where the names match and maybe/sorta the dates. It's like, ok maybe this is a great grandfather...

But I was able to get farther back now on my grandmother (dad's mom). Last time I was trying to research I didn't even have her maiden name and I couldn't even find my grandparents marriage or anything that might tell me her last name. My half sis remember it or what she thought it was and she was correct, so once I got that in, a bunch of hints moved me forward. Her mother, my great grandmother, is a McPhee (so that explains the cousin McPhee names that grandma used to talk about a lot) and going back they are also from Scotland. My grandma's dad's ancestors were from Ireland. I remember asking her once and her mentioning Ireland and Canada and I see that my grandpa's grandfather and going back was Nova Scotia, Canada

I'm still stumped on my mom's father's ancestors, which are from Denmark. I'm still where I was, pretty much a few years ago, with finding back to my 3rd great-grandfather, though I did find that my great grandfather had more siblings than the 2 I had originally found a few years ago. He had a total of 6 more siblings! I added all of them, hoping maybe their info might give me more hints back farther, but still no luck.

Danish/Scandanavian is very hard to research. Between the last names changing every generation (at least until the late 1800's) and trying to read documents in Danish, it's a challenge. I have used google translation to figure out what some words mean. I did discover my great great grandfather was a "clog maker" in Denmark. Interesting, because my grandpa was also a shoe maker/shoe repair in his early years. He and my grandma even had a shoe shop store for awhile. But grandpa had actually learned it from his father in law, my grandma's dad, who was a shoe maker/repairman.

Years ago (before I think) my mom had given me info she had on her dad's parents in the form of full names and dates of birth, so I did have that to start with when I did ancestry several years ago. She also gave me a handkerchief that belonged to my grandpa's mom. There wasn't a lot of family history about my grandpa's mom. He didn't talk about her very much. She left him (the youngest) and his 2 brothers with his dad when he was young. I knew he had a half sister named Loretta. I guess I just assumed Loretta was from his mom's second marriage and was younger than the brothers, but in my research I found out she was actually from a previous marriage before she married my great grandfather, so Loretta was older. So what would make a mom of 3 boys leave her boys with their dad, take her daughter, and leave? I'll never know, I'm sure. She ended up in Wisconsin and remarried again. Some time before WWII my grandpa's dad went back to Denmark, it sounds like to live. After WWII started he was never heard from again and I can't find any record of him in Denmark after he returned there.

But, back to my grandpa's mom. She's actually the person that I have been able to go the farthest back on, interestingly enough. While I'm just following the hints back and adding these people who supposedly are the right people, it's been interesting where some of the tree leads back on following way back on some of these great grandparents times many. Supposedly one takes me back to a Sir Humphrey Gilbert, half brother to Sir Walter Raleigh. Sir Humphrey pretty famous in his own right, with being said to have discovered Newfoundland.

There's another family tree in my grandpa's mom's that says it goes back to like the year 1040. Who knows. Being no expert I certainly can't verify the sources and make sure they actually are.  Heck, I can't even find my uncle's 2nd marriage/wife, haha. When I put in his info, as a brother to my mom, I found his first marriage and his 3rd marriage and divorce, but nothing on his 2nd marriage. 

I also found out my great uncle (dad's uncle) was married 3 times. I remember him as a kid when I visited my dad and grandparents. You were lucky if you ever got more than 2 words out of him and it he did answer it was usually a grunt yes or no. I don't know how he managed to get 1 wife, let alone 3, LOL. I knew his first wife had died, and the wife I knew raised his down syndrome daughter (my uncles cousin). I found record of his first wife's death certificate. She was only 22 when she died, and sounds like something related to alcohol poisoning. I'm sure there's a story there. The divorce decree on his 2nd short marriage of 2 years (his daughter would have been a small girl) stated reason for divorce was "cruelty". Then 2 years later he married his 3rd wife, who outlived him by 15 years. I just remember that she wasn't very patient with her special needs step daughter (who was an adult and still lived with them).

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Lost and found

Well, dd and I about had a heart attack yesterday. Back when my mom sold her home (Sept 2019) and was moving to the senior apartment where her BF lived, DD took a day to go help her pack things. Years prior, my mom had showed me where she kept 3 rings hidden. Her house had been broken into a year or two prior, so I guess she thought putting 3 rings inside a "breathe rite strip box" was safe? It was up in her bathroom medicine cabinet. There was her wedding ring (which she took off after my dad died and she started seeing her BF), an emerald ring, that was her birthstone and another ring I don't remember. When dd was texting me while helping her pack she actually remembered about that box! I'm like find it!! My mom had already emptied out her bathroom into boxes. Dd frantically searched, hoping that the little box just didn't get tossed out, because obviously my mom had forgotten all about it and found it in one of the boxes she had already packed bathroom stuff. She opens the box and there is only one ring in there. Her diamond wedding ring. No clue whatsoever what she could/would have done with the 2 other rings. But, at least the wedding ring was there. It has one large diamond on a gold band.

DD said they had a safe at home, so we figured that was a much better place for it to get put then in moving boxes!! DD told my mom she was going to take it and keep it safe for her, at least until she got moved, but the plan was just to give it to me to keep for her. We have a large safe in our house. So, then the last 2 times I saw dd, which was when she helped move her over here a year ago and then when she came for a visit last October. We totally forgot about her bringing the ring to me, until after her last visit. This time, we both remembered and she is to bring it with her today.

Only she messages me yesterday morning that she went to get the ring and it's not in her safe or anywhere else she looked. Am I sure she didn't give it back to me? I'm like no, 99.9% positive. I would have remembered looking at it (I haven't seen it in person for years, since my mom showed me that box in her medicine cabinet) and would have remembered putting it inside my safe. DD says she's tore up her house looking for it. I went down and opened our safe and looked. No ring. Plus dd said she herself put it in a little velvet bag she had, which I have never seen, either. I know I didn't have it. I'm thinking to myself how does this get lost?? She was supposed to keep it in her safe. I was so disappointed. About 10 minutes later dd messages me and she found it. Inside a little purse in her closet. I'm like why wasn't this ring in your safe where it was supposed to have been put?! Geez Louise!!! She's bringing it with her.

Then dd remembered. She did bring it over with her last trip (she also brought a lot of other stuff, too) but we got preoccupied with them only being here 2 days and she forgot to give it to me and I forgot to remind her to give it to me, so it ended up going back home with her. So, that's why it didn't get put back in her safe, she had it in that purse, inside her regular purse and when they got back home she put the purse in her closet, forgetting about the ring. Whew!

I have no idea what I'll ever do with that ring, but certainly don't want it lost and if my mom ever did ask about it again (she hasn't ever) I can show it to her or give it back to her, if she wanted to actually wear it again. I doubt she would and I certainly wouldn't want her leaving it in her jewelry box where she lives or if she goes into assisted living/nursing home. I said that ring apparently just likes to be hidden, lost, and found, haha. I have no idea what it might be worth, but it's a good sized diamond on it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Hummingbirds and phone calls

It was nice having the extra day off work yesterday. We didn't hear any additional fireworks beyond July 4th, like we did last year, the day after. It's still too hot outside. 96 yesterday. I did sit out on the patio for while later morning, while it was still shady there and still bearable. I sat and watched the hummingbirds


I had thought dh would mow yesterday, so I was going to mop the floors. It's easier to do when he's (and the dog) not inside walking around on them, but he's not doing it until today. I'll probably take a work break today and at least spot clean the worst areas (where dog often lays and drools, LOL).

From the time neighbors son, family, and dogs left Saturday, it was like neighbors weren't even home the rest of the weekend. They shut the doors and never came out again. Which is strange, as when they are home they are often outside doing this or that and, at least for a few hours, their garage door for their lawn stuff is always open. 

DD said her area was surprisingly not that bad on the 4th. She said the quietest 4th she's ever had anywhere. I told her that our old neighbor said it was even worse where we used to live, if that's even possible. Her dh was spending the weekend helping his dad, post surgery, and dd said that's one reason she stayed home with their dogs, as she knew it would be horrible down there, where her in-laws live.

We heard of one fire just on the other side of our town, caused by fireworks. Some guy caught his grass on fire and then his mobile home. Another in a nearby town, that sounds like a big one. A huge hay barn, filled with hay burned down. It's one of those open type barns, with basically just a roof covering the hay. Apparently a spark got in there and smoldered and didn't even start on fire until a couple hours after they were done and gone. Both our town and this town are just volunteer fire depts. They don't have the manpower or equipment to be going to and putting out multiple fires at once and it sounds like there were several fires in this other town (more populated).

I'm now watching season 2 of Goliath. Not as good as season 1, so far (I'm on episode 3). 

Linda - my lamp is delayed yet again! They put it back on my credit card on Friday and then the next day I get an email that it's delayed again. 

Apparently Tractor Supply wants me to send back the damaged wagon wheels and they will send (probably same company) a truck to pick up. Well, they are getting them back just as we got them. Loose and not packaged, LOL. In the meantime we haven decided not to even use them on the bridge. DH is going to get some really thick rope and use that across each side, which I think will look neat.

I typically just keep my phone ringer off and it's on vibrate. I hate a ringing phone. Probably PTSD from years of when dh was self employed and it was just constant calling me to take care of things and he was a constant asshole about 90% of it. Anyhow, I was taking a nap yesterday, phone on my nightstand. I heard it buzz and looked at it was my mom. I decided to just give her a call back in a bit, after I'm done taking a nap. Then it buzzed again a couple minutes later with a 2nd call. I saw she had left a voicemail with the first, so I listened to make sure it wasn't anything urgent. It was just her saying (again) she was trying to figure out if her phone was working. I just wanted to nap! Within 5 minutes 2 more calls. OMG! So, I get up, use the bathroom, and she called again. Six times in total in 17 minutes. I called her back and she didn't even know why she had just called me 6 times. I just said I was busy for a few minutes and couldn't answer, but I see you called 6 times! LOL. I said you left a voicemail that you were trying to see if your phone worked and she said oh yes, I wasn't sure if it was and was just worrying myself. She said she even tried uncle. I see from her cell phone call log she did call him, after the first time she called me. Her call log only shows a call if the other person answers, so it only looks like she called me once, haha.

I think that if she calls someone (which is usually just me and rarely uncle) and they don't answer she now thinks something is wrong with her phone. And I think when she gets herself worrying like that she doesn't remember that she just called 2, 3, 4, 5 times already. I had hoped that by having my voicemail fixed now and that she could leave a message, she'd realize I just can't take her call right then. Sometimes she does, but that's getting less often. 

So, not much of a nap at all, yesterday, haha. Usually I try to call her before I take a nap, because if I don't she will inevitably call. Sometimes I just need a break from it all for an hour or so.

When we were out driving Friday night to get away from the bombing fireworks, dh noticed a few times the headlights dimming and he's not sure what's causing that. We had talked quite awhile back that we should be proactive and replace the battery, but he never did. So, he called and ordered on from the auto parts store in town yesterday and they said they will have it in today. Not sure if that will fix the problem (could be alternator or a grounding issue dh said) but at least it will be a new battery and not die on me 50 miles from home one of these days.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Peace again

It was a very quiet day time yesterday, though still almost 100 degrees outside. I joked with dh that if we wanted to live in 100 degrees every day we should have moved to Arizona, where it's a lot cheaper. We heard no fireworks going off during the day at all. We are also seeing very little river "traffic" this summer, so far. I'm guessing now that people can be out and about doing other activities going on again, they aren't all on the river, so it's quieter in that respect. You'd be amazed at how loud these floater are. Most of them are not quiet at all as they float by. The adult half are probably drunk and the other half are screaming kids, LOL. And you'd think oh well, they'll be past us in about a minute, but no no, half of them decide, for some reason, to stop on the bank across from us and hang out. So, we are thankful it's not like last summer.

After dark there were some going off, but nothing super close and nothing that seemed loud inside. I had no problem getting to sleep and dh said it all stopped around 11:30. He was texting with our old "good neighbor" who lives in the war zone of fireworks. It had been going on for days, but of course the 4th is the worst. He said he had his tv on loud and could not hear it. He is on call for his job and the county radio he has also let him listen to 911 dispatches, which he had to put right to his ear to hear. He said it was call after call of fires and people hurt.

I think dh is getting stressed about this "vacation" to haul this car down to friend. But, that's normal for him. He has to worry and stress about everything, so something like this just adds to it, even though he prepares very well and thorough.

Ok, this is kind of funny. Since the dr was changing one of my mom's prescriptions to a different med, I decided to just have it mailed here (along with the other refills she doesn't need for 2 months, that are coming) so as not to confuse her what pills are what. I'm seeing her next weekend, when dd comes, so I'll take the pills then. I never even thought she'd remember, but the other day she asked about the new prescription. I just said the dr. got the order in and it's being mailed, but I didn't say it was being mailed to my house. Well, she keeps asking about it, LOL. But, that's good she's remembering about it.

Another day off today. I'm going to mop today. Or at least that's my plan. I woke up this morning with my back hurting a bit, so we'll see, I guess.

I don't know if it's something new or I just noticed it but the Overdrive app, where I borrow ebooks and audio books from my library now has movies to borrow. That sounds great and I'm sure I will use that feature, too. Which reminds me, I should download some audio books for dh and I to listen to on the trip. He likes more like true story, biographical, non fiction types. Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 4, 2021

When is enough enough?

When we opened my mom her new checking account here with a local bank, I took her old checks so she wouldn't accidentally try to use them. I took the box of checks she had in her desk. Also in the box was an old checking register that started 2018. I had skimmed through it to see what she may have given her brother (and my son), and it was eye opening, but I didn't tally it up. She ran out of room in this checkbook register right when she moved over here, so it's covers from March 2018 to May 2020.

This is just starting in 2018. I haven't looked in her paperwork for earlier checking registers. In 2018 she gave my uncle 5 different checks. For some reason she was giving him monthly checks for $700 through from April through July 1 of that year. Then a whopping check for $24,000 a few weeks later. None of these say "loan" in her register. The monthly checks she just wrote his name and the month. The big check she just wrote his name.

In 2019 she gave him 3 checks, for a total of $9,100 and next to his name she wrote loan. 

So, just since 2018 she has given him over $35,000. I know she has given/loaned him money before that, before I moved over here, and lived a few miles from her. (pre 2017). I can specifically remember her saying she gave him some for an old car he bought and was going to fix up and sell and repay her when he sold it. It's most likely she never saw that money back either. 

And, if he put that $24,000 in his safe deposit box, like he's mentioned to me a couple of times the past couple of years (he said something like your mom gave me a large amount of money and I put it in my safe deposit box)...why would he have needed to borrow more money from her after that?? Like I said, his stories don't quite add up. I think the only reason he has brought up that large amount a couple of times is because he knows at some point I would probably see she paid him this and he wanted to make sure he's covered with a story.

I can see no deposits she made where he repaid anything. It's just deposits from her social security, her transfers from her retirement account, and deposits from me repaying the loan I took.

Plus in spring of 2020, she gave him her car, which he sold and got the money to keep for himself.

All this to a guy who worked his whole life, has no wife or dependents to support, has retirement and social security and also has VA benefits, owns his home and several vehicles and classic cars. He was a college teacher most of his working life. Made a decent salary. Uncle is a very nice guy. Can make anyone laugh. But, he is also what I would call a "fibber".  Lots of examples over the years, but for example when we wanted to get my mom to stop driving, he said he'd take her car, because his little truck was getting old and he'd like her car as his daily driver. Ok, that's a good way to help him out, right? He literally sold it before he had it a week. Both dd and I knew exactly that's what he would do. He had zero intention of keeping that car. He just wanted the money from it. Awhile back he told me he wanted to give me my grandpa's old shotgun (well, for my husband, really) that he had. I said dh would LOVE having that. A day later he calls with some bs story about he forgot he loaned it to a cousin and just found out the cousin sold it? He's always changing his stories. Or like one time he told me he had called my mom the day before and chatted with her, yet her cell phone log showed no record of it. Where my mom lived before they were about a 2 hour drive apart. I was taking my mom to meet him halfway to have breakfast. After we get on the road he calls (bit surprise, LOL) and says his truck isn't starting, he's working in it, can we meet closer to him? By the time we got done driving we had almost driven to where he lives. I honestly don't believe he was having any truck issues, that's just the way he is. Just little lies like that, over all the years. I always have taken what he says with a grain of salt. Like he's told me before I am in his will, after my mom, since he doesn't have any wife or kids. I'm not even believing that, either. He's not malicious, nor does he ever cause any drama, but he's also the type who will take advantage of a situation if the opportunity presents itself. He is good about keeping in touch and checking in on her, but sometimes I wonder how much of that is to make sure he keeps himself "in the money".

If he does at some point ask for money again (though he hasn't now in almost 2 years) I think I will first say "didn't you tell me you put a bunch of her money in your safe deposit box? Feel free to use that for your needs". Just like he was a few months ago telling me she keeps offering to send him money so he thought maybe she could just start sending him $900 a month (to stay under the gift tax amount), that he would just put in his safe box. I'm like No!! What in the hell would be the point in that?! Her money is earning great with her investment guy, I'm not sending almost a $1000 a month to sit in a safe deposit box. He said oh it was just an idea to get her to stop asking if she could send him money. I said just keep telling her no thank you and just say her money is earning good where it is. Geez!

I'm sure if I find her older checking registers I'll find even more money lent/given to uncle, since my dad died (2009). I'm not going to feel guilty about having her reduce his percentage in her will/beneficiaries. He's gotten more than enough over the years. And for the most part it all seems to be for his "hobby" of buying and selling cars. Not because he is poor and can't afford his basic necessities.

I am glad that since I got so involved with taking care of her since the fall of 2019 no one has been "lent" or given any more money. I guess it's not so easy to ask her for money now that they have to go through someone else to do it. I have a feeling he now knows the bank of sis is now closed. I think the suggestion of her sending him $900 a month recently was just to feel me out and see if I am as gullible as she apparently was.

I guess I'm just of the mindset that her money is hers and her immediate family. Not his. Dh and I would probably loan our siblings money (if we were close to them), if they really needed it. If it wasn't paid back, we wouldn't loan again and again and again. (and especially not in the large sums my mom has given him). I don't think siblings have any claim or right to think they should have some of the money. The money situation between a parent and their children is different, and more lenient, to me, than a sibling. If the situation were reversed and uncle had a large estate and children to leave it to, my mom would never ever think she should get any of it, no matter how little money she had. If dh was close to his 4 siblings, he would never expect to get any inheritance from them, even if he was their best, closest friend/sibling.

I also run this by other people who I'm close to and value their opinion. Most often their opinion is even less generous than mine, so I don't really feel like I am being unreasonable.

I am happy that her wealth still continues to grow and not decline with her expenses in retirement. I'm sure at some point, if she needs full time nursing care, it might not keep growing and start declining, but the longer she goes before needing f/t care, the more her account keeps growing and keeps adding to cover the increased expenses she will have at that point, without needing to start reducing the balance. She certainly isn't going to run out of money! I'm enjoying watching it grow the past almost 2 years. I looked at her retirement fund statement from Oct 2019 compared to today's balance. It has increased over $200,000 in less than 2 years. Last year she earned 9% on her investments, per her broker.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Happy 4th. Or is it Happy 2nd?

Guess what? We got to listen to fireworks last night, on July 2nd. Wasn't that fun and memorable? At 9:45 (I had just gone to bed) dh gets a text from Mr. Neighbor that after much consideration they decided making memories is more important, so they will be doing fireworks. 

So, it's July, it's high fire danger, blah blah. Wouldn't you think normal smart people would do their little fireworks display in their driveway on the asphalt, or out in the wider street part at the entrance to their driveway? No, they did it out in the grassy (like wild grass)  field area kind of to the left of the front of their house. If that is not the stupidest, it ranks up there. I also thought, (you know, since it was "for the kids") that it would be the type of home fireworks that are more colorful and pretty than loud. The kind that kind of make the little screaming noise as they shoot up and then pop open and then you hear the little snapping noises. And then you ooh and ahhh over the display.

But, no, of course not. They had to let off bombs that repeatedly went off. The first round I was like Geez! And I've mentioned we kind of live in a canyon, so it echo'd like crazy. After the second round, I was like well this is rude. Our dog was getting nervous. DH said I'm going to take him out for a drive while they are doing this shit. I said well, I'm certainly am not going to be able to sleep (it was 10:15) so I got up and got dressed and we left. I was just going to go in my pajamas but I thought with our luck something will happen - we'll break down or something and here I am in my pj's. Then I'm like great - we're out driving around at night, we're probably going to hit a deer or elk. Like I told dh, I expect to have to listen to that on the 4th of July. Not on the 2nd. But, Mr and Mrs son can't be here on the 4th so they made the 2nd their 4th. And just how people are, I'm sure many for a couple miles could hear it and some are thinking to themselves "oh, well that person was doing their fireworks early, I'm going to do some of mine tonight" and I'll bet money we'll be hearing some tonight from off in the distance now. 

We drove around for almost an hour. We did have one deer cross the road in front of us, but we were going slow and saw her before we got to her. That whole time our dog is just panting, like he couldn't relax and he's usually a really good car rider. We get home, he jumps out of the car and pukes right on the rug in front of the door from the garage into the house. Ya, thanks for the memories of having to clean up puke at 11:30 pm and not get to sleep until midnight.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Yay for Friday

We had our company Teams (like Zoom) meeting yesterday. Basically a positive spin put on the people quitting. I forgot there was another sales person who quit in mid May, so 3 in sales quit and one in another department. That's almost 10% of our total workforce. Most of what the president and owners said, it was try to read between the lines to figure it out. Not my cup of tea. Just say it or don't. But, they seem to feel we'll be better in the long run for the changes. It was kind of like "we were blindsided, got lied to/about, but we wish them the best" LOL. They also said they are re budgeting our sales goal, as obviously, with things still recovering, it was too lofty of a goal. I don't know if that changes bonus, too, but I would assume so, as our bonus is based on meeting sales goals. At this point I'd just rather have a raise.

There were some technical difficulties, as this was the first time they tried to do a meeting from the office that was part people in the office meeting room and part people remote on Teams. The audio of the speaker(s) kept cutting out at first, but then it worked ok. Other than if someone else on the side of the room or someone asked a question, it was hard to hear them. At least my web cam worked this time (well, it worked before,  I just didn't get it figured out) and I could be a face in the meeting. It's easier to just be initials on the screen than a face, LOL. I don't have to worry to feel/look like I am fidgeting. But hey, my hair looked good. haha!

So far so good with no fireworks at neighbors. I think Mr knew he probably pissed dh off a bit, as yesterday he was emailing dh several times (not about that), I think just to show he's ok with dh's answer that we didn't really want fireworks. Just their normal emails they exchange fairly often about life, local news, etc. He did mention he thought son and family were going to spend a good amount of time at their own property and it does appear they were gone all day yesterday.

Just before the meeting I started getting a headache. I took tylenol before. Then after, got myself some lunch. But the headache just got worse, which didn't leave me with much ambition to get much work done. Finally the headache cleared after dinner.

I started watching a show on Amazon Prime Video my sister said was good, called Goliath with Billy Bob Thornton. So far it's good and will give me something to watch for awhile as it looks like there are 3 seasons.

I earned $50 in Kohl's cash from my last online purchases and then saw that on 7/1 I was going to earn $10 more in rewards dollars, so decided to wait until that was available, so I can use the whole $60 at once. I need now to get online and figure out what to buy. I should buy some more summer clothes to wear on our trip. I don't really have any tank tops any more. Friends have a pool and a hot tub. I do have a swimsuit somewhere. Still packed in a box, I think, but not even sure it would still fit. Last I wore it was...umm....(I'm thinking)....2012? whatever year DD and I went to Hawaii with my mom, haha. No, that was 2010. Yikes.

Today we only have to work until noon. Nice. That feels more like normal days. Weather was strange yesterday. So, hot again, high 90's, but then later afternoon it really clouded up and we had a couple of hours of very loud thunderstorms. Then in the early evening it actually started raining and temps dropped into the 70's which was really nice. But, back to 95 today. I'll be glad when it's back into the normal 80's weather (no time soon, though).

The day lilies I planted last summer are looking great this summer. They about doubled in size and are now blooming every day. DH said he likes those better than the iris, so wants to plant more of those. I told him that I read up on them and it sounds like every few years, they spread out quite a bit, so you can dig part up to thin out and replant somewhere else. Free plants, haha.

No exciting plans for this holiday weekend. Just hopefully mostly peace and quiet. Neighbor's visitors are leaving tomorrow, which usually means later morning, since they have a 7 hour or so drive home. DH has lots of racing to watch online this weekend (usually it's evenings) so he will be busy. He and a friend, who lives in Missouri, and also watches, sit and message back and forth about the races while they are watching. Dh has the racing on one monitor and his chat on the other, haha. I can just do my own thing, read or watch tv. Though it is a bit annoying because in between all the racing, he keeps coming out to tell me what is going on or what funnies he and friend are chatting about and I have to keep stopping my video, and pretend like I care who won what heat race, LOL.

Dh is friends with the crew chief of a Nascar driver who races another type of racing in between Nascar races. This crew chief and dh text off and on (for years now). Dh tries not to text him too often, as the crew chief is of course super busy, but it's always nice when dh hears from him. They got rained out from a race back east yesterday and in his down time he texted dh, which made dh happy to hear from him, as dh has been following their races/success and will usually send a congratulatory text.

Well, gotta get downstairs and take some outgoing mail to the mailbox before the postal carrier comes. I need to mail a check for the flooring pieces I picked up earlier this week.

Thursday, July 1, 2021


I'm good for another year on the mammogram. Passed the test, no changes from last reading. I decided to have my mom's refills sent here to my address. When her doctor sent the prescription refills to her mail in pharmacy, they really only needed to fill the new one that is replacing one, but for some reason they are doing them all. We just had them refilled a month ago, so she is not in need of the rest for 2 more months. I'm surprised they were even able to refill them with the insurance. I figured having them come here will be less confusing for her. I think what I may do (after our trip), is order that Hero pill dispenser and have it delivered here. Use her meds I will have to get it all figured out/set up and try letting it dispense for a week or so, so I can see if it is something that will work for her. I also read up on it, and there is an app I can have with it, that will alert me if she misses a dose, which sounds very helpful. The only negative comments people seem to have about it is that it's kind of loud. But, it holds a 90 day supply, so that would be awesome. I know she is missing doses here and there. 

I had a "senior moment" yesterday. LOL. It was payday. I got up to my desk. Did my usual open my bank accounts, make sure the paycheck is there, pay a couple bills online. Then I did some math to make sure I'm in the ballpark of my budgeted remaining money in my account. Umm. I'm really short $. What the heck? I re-did the math on my budget (I usually budget out a few paychecks) to make sure I didn't make a math error. No, it's correct. But, I don't have that much money....then I realized I forgot to pay myself for my side job! Haha. Whew.

I have mentioned before that mom's will got changed 3 1/2 years ago with input/help from her then BF and my step brother. (she was starting to show memory issues then with forgetting words to use and starting to have trouble using the computer with logins and passwords)  And also her beneficiaries on her retirement funds account was changed. Since 95% or more of her money is in her retirement account, that is how it will all get distributed, not even going through the will/probate. There isn't much that would end up actually going through the will. And according to the attorney that just did her will, if I keep her checking and savings under $50k, it won't even need to go through probate, in this state. But, at the time he told me that I didn't know that me being co-owner of her checking account means that money won't go through probate anyway, from what I understand. (I need to verify that with him, just so I know). It just goes straight to me, as co owner of the joint account. Prior to the 2018 change, her retirement funds beneficiary was her "estate", so that was a good change that was made, keeping all that money out of time consuming and costly probate. But, as I have also mentioned, I'm just not really liking the fact that she is leaving so much of her money to her brother, at 30%. Just seems odd to me. I could see if she wanted to leave him a little bit, as a gift, but 30%? Just a note, that prior to BF and step brother getting involved in her finances, after my dad passed away she updated her will and put me at 100% inheritance and gave me a copy of the will. She wasn't having any memory issues at that time. I expressed my surprise to her, was she sure she just didn't want to split it all evenly between myself and 4 step siblings? Her reply was she rarely sees or hears from them, none of them need money and none of them will be the one taking care of her when she can't do it by herself. 

When her will and retirement account beneficiaries got changed, and step brother got DPOA in 2018, I was not told of this. The only thing she told me about, was that since I wasn't living close to her, when the time came for her to sell her house and move to senior/assisted living, she thought it might be easier if my step brother, who lived in the area, be the one to help her with selling it. In my heart, I honestly think that is what BF and step brother told her all this was all about. She had never tried to hide her will or her plans from me before. I don't think she was trying to hide anything from me then, I think she just didn't understand all what was being done. That was probably A LOT to throw at her, at once. Shortly after I moved here, and was back for a visit with my mom, I sat down with her and asked her if it would be ok if I got all her info from her, to put in a notebook, so in case something happened to her, I would know all her accounts, what needed to be paid, how much, etc. Who her insurances were. The whole 9 yards. She was happy to do that and relieved, it seemed to me. It was about 6 months after that that they took over everything, without me knowing.

I also kind of feel, like at this point, with my mom, she is so suggestible, so she'd agree to anything I say to do/suggest. I feel like I'm being "pushy", but again, I just don't think uncle needs/deserves 30%! That's a lot of money. I asked dd what her thoughts on it was. She said she thinks its strange to leave anything to a sibling, let alone so much to a sibling, when you have a child(ren). She said "isn't it just kind of common to leave everything to your own kids? people don't typically leave part of their estate to siblings, do they, when they have kids?" She said her in-laws are leaving it to their son (her dh), not their siblings (his aunts and uncles). She said do the change now, rather than later, while she's still mostly understanding of it all (even if she can't remember that it's been/being done unless you just keep talking about it repeatedly). I said I wouldn't do it later, when she gets worse, so yes, it probably should be now. 

I was also chatting with my half sister (we share a father) and asked her opinion. She felt uncle doesn't deserve any of it. It should go to me (and step siblings, if she desired). She also said I'm the one taking care of my mom, not my uncle. Not to mention my mom has "loaned" a good sum of money to uncle over the years (after my dad passed, of course), that I can see none ever paid back. He's gotten his $, as far as I'm concerned. I think he knows I know or would see the money/checks written to him, and he told me that my mom "gave him a large sum, for him to have/save in case of emergency and that he has it in cash in his safe deposit box". I believe that as much as I believe he has ocean property in AZ for me to buy. Over the years there were several times my mom mentioned to me she loaned him some money so he could fix up this old classic car or that one and when he sold it, he'd pay her back.....I'm not going to even bring it up with him and didn't say anything when he told me his "story". She gave him the money and I'm sure it's gone and she doesn't need it paid back, so it's water under the bridge.

So, I'm still thinking on it, but I'm thinking changing his share down to 10 or 15% at the most. We didn't change her will percentages (which are currently the same as retirement $ beneficiaries) but like attorney said, since most of her money is in that, the will "estate" won't have much at all to distribute, so wasn't really necessary to change. So, if/when I do, I think I'll go over the beneficiary document again with her and see what she says. Then call her broker guys assistant from her apartment, so we are both on the phone with her and mom can tell her she wants to change the beneficiaries percentages. If I just call/email her, she'll end up calling my mom about it and my mom will end up saying "what now?" LOL.

I'm still flabbergasted by step brother telling me she only had about 10 years worth of money to live on and he was worried what to do then, if she lived as long as her mother did (95). That was when this all got revealed to me. I was spending the night at her apartment (this is when her BF was about to pass away) and looked at her documents to see what was going on and realized the will and everything had gotten changed and he was in charge. I called my uncle right up to get his opinion and said I wanted to get all this back in my control and he 100% agreed and said do it NOW. I hung up with him and then saw I had an email from a bit earlier from step brother that he heard I was in town seeing her and where he expressed his concern about her money not lasting. Almost 2 years later her wealth is still growing!

I'm probably worrying for nothing, for the most part, if I just go off statistics. Uncle, single guy, no wife or children. 2-3 years younger than my mom. Also a good chance to end up with Alzheimers/dementia like his dad and my mom. Likely to not even outlive my mom, especially if she takes after her mom for longevity, not to mention I think my mom will have better care overall (and me to help) than he will probably end up with, with no one to oversee and be close by when he gets to that stage of life. He probably just won't live as long, statistically speaking, anyway. But, for him to get 30% some day down the road, when he's probably not got much longer on this planet, who knows where all that money would end up?