Saturday, April 30, 2022

Gift card, birthday and weekend plans

Unrelated to me asking for a raise, UPS shows up later afternoon yesterday with something for me from my boss. It was a little box with a $100 Amazon gift card and a nice card appreciating me. Oh gosh, LOL. Well, I thanked her very much.....but still glad I asked for a raise. (the gift card was sent out before I asked).  And honestly, probably the only real reason she sent me one is because the week before, when I was posting our company American Express bill and figuring out what charges get assigned to what category there was this charge for over $2000 to Amazon that I had no receipt for, so I asked her what it's for. Something that large could have been a fixed asset and not an office supplies expense. She said it was for some gift cards they ordered to have on hand to give out to customers and employees as appreciation. So, me knowing what they are for is probably why she then thought she should send me one, haha. (though I certainly didn't expect one).

Monday is mom's 81st birthday. The other day she asked me if any birthdays are coming up and as I started to say "well, yours is" she said well, other than mine. I'm thinking good - she remembers her birthday is soon. Then she says what am I going to be? late 90's? No haha, only 81! I think later today I'll make a batch up cupcakes for her birthday and run a dozen into her tomorrow afternoon and surprise her.

I'm so confused by this order we placed a couple of weeks ago. It was a bunch of car wash supplies dh wanted. It was a big order and they showed shipping it out in 3 tracking#'s. Two of the packages showed up last weekend and the 3rd (per Fedex updates) showed it was damaged and it transit back to the shipper, which they got back earlier this week. Dh and I went through what we ordered and what arrived so we'd know what was still needing to ship to us. About 3 or 4 items. Then yesterday afternoon I get a shipping confirmation email from the company and it shows 3 new tracking #'s and then says "items shipped on 4/29" and lists the whole order again! Did they accidentally just ship out his whole order again? I guess we'll see when it all gets here!

Do any of you have a food dehydrator and if so what things do you use it for? and what type of containers do you store the dehydrated food in?

Weather report shows mostly chance of rain today, so I guess dh won't be doing his first mow of the season yet. The lawn is ready to mow, but we've just been getting some rain almost every day. Maybe tomorrow, it's looking better.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Pulled the trigger, now I wait

First off - leg is feeling back to normal. Kind of gradual return to normal yesterday and still good this morning. I'm thinking some nerve in my hip/back. I spent quite a bit of time yesterday stretching and making sure I got out of my work chair often.

Second - I finally pulled the trigger and sent an email to my boss asking "if the company has plans to re-implement the annual performance/salary reviews? It's been a few years :)"

It didn't take her too long to reply, but I gotta say I was pretty disappointed with her reply and how she handled it. Basically it was saying "oh! I feel so bad you had to ask. Then went on to tell me how they haven't done much with raises and how concerned she was with income/cash flow being lower this year. Is there an amount you would feel comfortable with now?"

Ummm....well what do you say to that? Especially knowing (since I do payroll) they have given some raises (and most were what I would consider decent, other than one). In the almost 17 years I've been there she/they always decided the raise amount, not me. I took what was given (some were good, some were pretty crappy). I was uncomfortable enough even having to ask in the first place and then she drops it back in my lap to tell her how much, after the sob story of cash flow. Well, now I'm doubly uncomfortable. I would rather she have just said let me take a look at the budget and see what I can do.

It was just a few minutes before my end of day, so I didn't reply. I knew if I did I would have replied some stupid amount that was too low and I wanted time to think and process about it. Plus, don't tell me the company can afford a $1000 a plate dinner for 4, yet you're worried about income and hard to give raises right now and can't afford a few thousand over a year.

Honestly, I was thinking kind of low, like an additional $3,000 per year is what I would probably get, so that's kind of what I probably would have said if I answered right away. But, like I said those that have gotten raises in the past 2 months (and I'm guessing they also had to ask) got at least a 7% increase (except one at 2.8%). I asked dd and another friend what they thought. DD was like say 15%, at least 10%. I'm thinking to myself, no that is too much (based on boss's reply tone). I think I'll kind of split the difference and ask for 8%. Then friend emailed back and had the same figure I was just thinking of. If I had gotten (what I would consider modest) approx. 2.5% increases the past 3 years I would be at about that salary now, that I'm asking for.

So, I got up a little bit early so I could finish putting the February financial reports into a pdf file and I emailed that to my boss and then right after replied to her email reply about the raise and put the number out there. So, guess we'll see.

When our receptionist (one who got an almost 8% raise this past month) now makes $70k a year...well.....I am underpaid to be an accountant. If budget is tight, I'd rather see raises be the priority than bonus's. I'd rather get a salary increase every year or two than a bonus, if there is not money for both.

And then my 6pm call with my mom to get her to take her meds. Just take them while we are on the phone! Then she kept trying to tell me she already took some of them that morning, so didn't need to take all 5 now. No, you didn't. I have to keep saying it, keep asking. She just says "oh, yes, I will" or she starts talking about something else. She was all upset last night about something that happened there where she lives, but can't really remember any of the details as to why. Something about she and several other women were sitting somewhere chatting and this lady was talking to them for awhile, but she wasn't supposed to be and so one of the staff figured it out and had her leave. Mom was worried now this lady was going to steal from her or figure out which apartment she lives in (so when she got back to her apartment she removed her name plate off her door!). As near as I can figure, I'm guessing it was someone trying to get them to buy something she was selling and staff then told the lady no. Mom kept saying she was going to talk to the staff lady more about it in the morning. Which of course I'm sure once she woke up this morning she has now completely forgotten about it. Finally, during our conversation I just said "can you just do me a favor and take the pills right now, while we are on the phone? I know you are upset about this lady and I don't want you to forget to take your pills". I knew in her state of mind, all frazzled about this woman, she would most likely hang up and instantly forget to take the pills.

Last evening, checking in on the camera she was watching tv all evening and appeared to have found the channel with the old game shows, so that was probably a good thing for her to watch and enjoy.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Now it's my leg

Yesterday, sometime before lunch, I had gotten up from my work chair and as I'm walking notice my right leg feels kind of odd. Ok, so my shin area is all numb and my foot is tingly, like it had started to fall asleep. I'm thinking hmmm, I must have been sitting off a bit in my chair or something. Every so often (rarely) my foot/lower leg starts to fall asleep. So, I try to walk it off. Nope, no change. All day. It was a little bit better this morning. My foot wasn't tingling and the shin area wasn't quite as numb feeling. But, just sitting here for the last half hour or so, it seems to be heading back that way. What in the heck? I'm guessing some nerve in my back (sciatic) or hip?

I remembered my boss, several years ago (right before I moved I think) having a problem where one of her feet was numb a lot. They kept thinking it was something in her back or knee. Eventually they figured out her hip was causing it, but by the time they figured out her hip had a problem she needed a hip replacement (I had forgotten about her having that). Well, I guess if it keeps up, I'll have to get into see my doctor. Ugh. 

I also remember a couple years ago, for quite awhile, I was having a problem with my right leg while sitting in this work chair. The back of my leg was actually hurting. After I started doing daily stretches it ended up going away and I haven't had that happen anymore. 

Long story short, I had plugged mom's computer back in when I was setting up her camera because I was trying to get her wifi password. I forgot to unplug it, haha. She was trying to get on it yesterday afternoon and calls me, as usual, she can't figure it out, can I look at it? I told her I have to look at it while I'm there. Then after dinner I see on the camera she is sitting at her computer. I can't see what is on it, the video is too far away and not good enough quality. About the only thing I have on there for her is the solitaire game and her email. Every time I looked at the camera between 7pm and 9pm she was sitting there with her hand on the mouse. The screen was changing so she was obviously doing something. I can't believe she was doing it for 2 hours. I'm assuming it was solitaire. But good that she had something keeping her busy, whatever it was.

I grabbed my phone at 6pm last night to call her to take her meds and saw from the Hero app that she had already dispensed them at 5:50. did she actually take them? The live feed was showing her sitting at her desk (where the dispenser is). So, I called and apparently she had pushed the button and dispensed the 5 pills but just left them in the cup underneath the dispenser. I'm having a really hard time getting her to take them while I am still on the phone to her. She will change the subject or say yep, they are in my hand (yes, I can see that haha) and I'll take them as soon as I hang up. So, we hang up and I sit there and watch the camera for the next several minutes while she tries to remember what she needs to do! She sat and looked at the cup in her hand for what seemed like forever and then finally poured them in her hand and put the cup back. Then she got up and walked over to her sink (which I can't see her there, below the camera) and is talking to herself trying to remember what to do. She said something like "do I take these now? yes, she said I need to take them". 

After dinner last night we streamed one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the 4th one. We have never seen the 4th and 5th one. Our cat was mesmerized by it, LOL. He actually watched like half of it and then went to sleep.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Cereal and what not

Neither of us were very hungry for dinner last night so we decided on cereal. I got out my "Rice Krisps" and dh said are those Rice Krispies? I'll have that, too. I said well, it's store brand. I can't find Rice Krispies anymore, so tried these. He asked if they are good? I said they taste the same to me, just a little flatter shape. So, he poured a bowl and took a bite and says "taste good to me". I said good, because they are way cheaper. A 24 oz big box of Great Value brand is only $2.64. An 18 oz box of Rice Krispies is $3.28, almost twice as much per ounce. I think the next GV brand items I am going to try are their cake mix and frosting.

As I figured mom had forgotten about wanting the ancestry name information by the time I talked to her after dinner. Since I now have the camera I decided to do a test. Not call her before her med dispenser chimes at her and see if she can figure it out AND take the pills. At least she knew what the chiming was for (and not the phone ringing) and sat down and pushed the button and the 5 pills dropped into the cup. You could tell she was thinking on what to do. She pulled the little cup out, but then the area just above the cup starts flashing in red (to remind you to put the cup back) and you could tell she was trying to figure out what to do. Finally she dumped the pills in her hand and put the cup back and then walked over to her sink (which I can't see because the camera is right above on top of the cabinet) and I could hear water running and lots of noise LOL. Then I called to say hello and just said "did you get your pills taken?" And even though it was literally not much more than a minute since she took them you could tell she can't remember if she just did or not, but then she says yes.

I've also noticed that sometimes she is having trouble figuring out how to get her tv to change channels and use the guide. Sometimes she has no problem, other times she can't seem to figure it out and just turns it off. Last night she seemed to figure it out and was watching baseball all evening until she went to bed, so that's good. 

Payroll went fairly smooth yesterday. First time in months. There was a "glitch" with how one of the new employees was set up. Seems to always happen because setting up a new employee (my bosses job) in this system is crazy complicated. Something to do with he lives out of state so his workers comp needed to be set to that state and they needed to set up him up with that rate and didn't know about it until yesterday, so I had to wait while they (the payroll company) figured out the rate to use and set it up. Then I was given the go ahead to submit my payroll. 

I haven't inquired about a performance/salary review yet. But, I'm getting myself closer to getting myself to do it. I'm actually almost completely caught up with our monthly financial reports. I'm just about done with February and should be sending my boss the financial packet of reports in a couple days at the most. This is about as caught up as I can be. I really can't start on March until mid April or even finish it until early May because we are still receiving reports of sales/commissions for the prior month from a lot of of our manufacturers. So, I'm very close to this as a monthly timeline now. I figure being all caught up is a good time to ask! 

I also was chatting via email with my side job boss yesterday. She made a comment that her dh (one of their company owners) is looking to retire at the end of 2023. It's likely that the other owner (a younger guy who I have very little contact with) may decide not to use me as their bookkeeper after that. So, something to keep in the back of my mind, for budgeting down the road. I've always known this probably wasn't going to be a long term gig - and actually it's lasted way longer than I ever thought it would (12 years now).

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A goofy Tuesday

I got another notice in the mail to go in for possible jury duty. UGH!! A week from Friday. At least I'll know what to expect this time and if I get assigned a random number in rows 3-5 I should be safe, LOL. My jury duty service ends June 30th. I was not happy to see that letter in the mail again. Wonder what's up with all the trials now. They rarely have ever had trials before.

Today is also payroll day. I don't know why it often seems to fall on Tuesdays, which my boss is always in meetings most all day Tuesdays, so then I also have to wait for her to get back to my questions and review the payroll register before I submit. And we have 3 more new employees starting this pay period, so that always adds to getting it all figured out. And we realized our payroll advisor never got back to us with an issue she had to pass on to support as a "case" from last payroll, so I'm sure I'll still have that issue to work around.

DH was continuing to write/share his funny stories about our new car experiences on that Facebook page. Most people seemed to really enjoy them. A few would say they are now looking forward to when he posts, best thing on the page, he should be a writer, etc. But of course there are always has to be a couple who are just rude and assholes. Gosh, is it really that hard to just either enjoy something, or if you can't/won't then just ignore it? But, no, they have to make rude comments. DH decided last night - forget it. It's not even worth his time to deal with rude people. He went in and deleted all his posts/stories and un-joined the group. Not worth it to try to share anything on a public forum. Too many asshats out there to make anything like that fun.

My side job boss emailed me this morning "any good mom stories?", knowing I took Friday off to go see mom. I said, boy do I! and updated her and she said I knew you could provide me with some humor this morning. LOL. I told her the Hero medication dispenser is now wrapped in black tape like it's Fort Knox and hopefully she can't unplug it from the back anymore.

Well, payroll has gone surprisingly smooth today, first time in MONTHS. Now I'm just waiting for boss to review the report so I can submit it, and it's not even 11am yet.  

Walmart gave me a really short date on the 2 gallons of milk I picked up on Friday the 22nd...sell by date of 24th. Ugh and I got 2 gallons, too, which I don't usually do.  But, usually they have a decent date and are good for another 5 days, so I figured I could do the 2 gallons before time was up. Well, crap 2 gallons that sell by was Sunday won't get used up. So, I took the one that is about 1/3 gone and put it in the freezer. I have frozen chocolate milk before, but never regular milk. I also know you need to pour a little out of the jug before freezing, so with 1/3 gone, I put that jug in the freezer and will start using this full jug. Guess I need to make some tapioca pudding to use some up. It will also be a good test for me to finally see how well frozen milk is after it's thawed out. I'm hoping this is a good thing and I actually start using this method and buy some extra milk at a time, rather than having to make a trip into town in between my Walmart orders, to get more milk.

Oh goodness. My cell phone rings a little while ago, I glance at it and some out of state # I don't recognize and it's not a work call, so I ignore it. I'm busy doing payroll. About half hour later I see I have a voicemail so I give a listen and it's my mom! She's calling from sorta boyfriend (though she hardly mentions him anymore) cell phone saying Hi, I'm downstairs and we're doing this ancestry thing and we need info for our parents and grandparents names and I know my parents but not my grandparents and thought maybe you have that....

OH HELL NO! LOL. I am not even going to try to attempt to give her that information, let alone when I'm working. I can just imagine the conversation now. I'd have to repeat the first name about 20 times before she'd finally get it written down, then when I'm trying to give her the 2nd grandparent name, she'd suddenly say "now who is such and such?" (the first name I gave her!). No, just no! LOL

Monday, April 25, 2022

What did I just hear?!

I made dh some chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I tried adding more flour, one of the things I read to help with flat cookies. Nope, still flat. Oh well, he likes them that way. They aren't appealing or much how I like cookies (I don't really like chewy type cookies) so that is good that I probably won't eat very many. I had one yesterday (as well as a couple bits of dough while making, LOL). I put them in a ziploc bag on the counter and dh can have at them all week.

I really didn't do much other than making the cookies yesterday. Well, the normal, breakfast lunch and dinner, LOL. Dinner was a "chicken sandwich ring". We hadn't had that in awhile so I try to rotate it in every so often. Fairly easy to make and good when I didn't take anything out of the freezer.

While the batteries in the little security camera are advertised to last up to 2 years, apparently that is with very little use. Like basically setting it when you aren't home to see if there is a motion it detects (which probably wouldn't happen often). But, watching mom on the level I want to keep checking in on her, they will have to be replaced often. But, that's ok, I'll order some up (some kind of expensive lithium ion AA batteries) to have on hand. The app also lets you know when the battery is getting low, so I'll have some warning that they need to be replaced.

This camera also has sound, which is nice, but there is this "background noise" that is always on it. Not sure if it's her refrigerator running it's picking up or more likely her wall heater unit. It's always pretty much on, since she keeps it like 80 in there, LOL. She chats with herself alot, haha. Since she's in her apartment moving around often, yesterday I turned off the motion detection and just checked in on her every so often. I think she spends a lot of time sitting in her recliner and I can't tell if she's there or not, unless I actually catch her walking to it. (this is where I think an additional camera would be helpful, pointing that way).

So, around dinner time I took a peek at live view to see if she was doing anything. Just as it started it appeared she was walking from her door toward her living room area and talking to herself. Something about "ridiculous. just ridiculous. should just move, no one visits anyway". I'm like what?! When I first heard her repeat ridiculous I was thinking maybe she was upset dinner hadn't been delivered yet (it was 5:30 ish, but that's normal when they have to deliver to all the floors/apts). But then I'm like move? no one visits? I then turned live back on a few minutes later and could hear her standing at her door talking to someone, then it sounds like the meal got dropped off (they all have a tv tray or small table out next to their door for them to set the meal in containers on). I could hear her talking with someone, sounding like complaints dinner was so late (it was about 5:38 then). Then you hear her say "oh, here it is" and a guys voice saying something. While I was watching this "live" recording I kept in on record, so I could go back. I went back and turned up my phone volume to try to hear better what they were saying. 

Here's what I figured out. She was talking to her neighbor lady across the hall. I think they all open their doors often to see if the meal is there yet (even though the staff knocks to let them know) and they both had been at their doorways talking. When I first turned it on live and heard my mom saying ridiculous and moving, I'm now pretty certain she was talking about her neighbor lady. While they were chatting right before the meals got dropped off, the lady was complaining about the time, etc. My mom was kind of agreeing but also trying to say "well, I guess we got spoiled when they were bringing it earlier" or something like that.

So, my mom brings her meal in and sets it on her table and proceeds to get her silverware and a glass of water. The whole time she's talking to herself but I can't really hear it over the water running to fill up her glass and the silverware clanking, and as she sits down she says "she’s got to find something cheaper for her family. She's just got to". She was talking about neighbor lady across the hall! She has told me about her before. That she just has a tiny studio apartment and can barely afford it. Sounds like maybe family helps pay for it, but she rarely has family visit. Stuff like that. She's also the lady we were chatting with in the hall recently and she was complaining there is some red light that shines through her window blinds at night and she can't sleep. I suggested putting up curtains to block it and she said "well, I'm not paying for it!" LOL.

My guess is mom was talking to her at the door and with the lady complaining and dinner being late, etc, she walked back in her room saying "ridiculous, should just move, no one visits" she was talking about the neighbor lady! Well, I hope so, LOL

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Garbage in garbage out

One of the things I dealt with mom on Friday was her dang garbage can, LOL. It's in her kitchen in front of her microwave cart. When I got there the sink was filled with dirty silverware. Nothing left of silverware in her drawer silverware tray. While she was in the bathroom one time I just started washing them all and setting on her drain mat. She is having trouble now throwing away all the styrofoam cups and little plastic cups the desserts come in, when meals are brought to their apt's. I tossed out probably a dozen cups. A few were stacked together, but most were just all along the back of her counter and next to her sink. She also had a can of soup that had a pull top type opening that she had pulled back the top and that opened the can up a bit on top. Who knows how long that's been sitting like that. I told her I was throwing it away. She also (for months now) has set out her K-cups she had left, about 5 or so on the counter. She hasn't made a cup of coffee in probably 18 months (she gets it from downstairs, hence all the cups). Her little mini keurig is down underneath her sink. One of the kcups was punctured. I found another one wrapped in a paper towel. I just tossed them all, too. Just trying to get every thing cleaned up and not so messy. 

A little while later I come out of the bathroom into the kitchen and she has pulled the soup can out of the garbage can. I had even buried it below some styrofoam cups! She was all worried it was going to leak. I said, there's a liner in the can, it's no big deal, plus I set the can upright. I said it will be fine and your garbage will get emptied soon. 

After we got back from lunch she took them out again! And had set a few of the kcups back on the counter. And the dang soup can. She wanted to open it and pour it out. I said there's noodles and stuff in it - it's better just to leave it in the can with the lid that is still 90% on it. I got her to throw it away again, but I'll bet you a dollar she has taken it out again. I really should have just taken one of the empty Walgreens sacks and put in there and taken with me. I'm also pretty sure she has done that with notes and junk mail I throw in her desk garbage can. I'll come back the next time and think to myself I swear I threw this or that note out. Lately I've just been putting notes and junk mail to throw out in my purse and doing it when I get home. Luckily she gets very little mail now, so there isn't much to deal with.

One good thing I saw on the camera is she went to the phone to call me yesterday morning (she called to ask "did  you say you are coming to see me today?" No...I came yesterday...) I could see she just knew to push the button on the phone with my name on it. So that was good to see. I wasn't sure if she was using it or not.

It has also been helpful the past 2 evenings when I called her at 6 to take her meds. I can watch from the camera what she is doing and kind of helps to guide her along, since I can see. Like I told her to push the button but it wasn't dispensing and from the camera view I could see the light flashing that the cup wasn't set right. Got her to reset the cup underneath and then it dispensed. Then I could see she took the pills but apparently left the cup on her counter as the dispenser light was flashing so I said "did you put the cup back underneath?" (knowing she didn't) and then she went and got the cup and put in under.  So, the viewing is helpful for that.

It was nice to be able to go in on Friday and still have my weekend free. I still miss our old work perk of having a half day every other Friday. I spent half of yesterday cleaning. A couple loads of laundry, changed bed sheets, dusted and vacuumed downstairs. DH washed the car.

I plan to do my next visit to her next Sunday. Her birthday (82) is the following Monday, but I don't want to take another day off work so soon and Sunday will be fine. I haven't decided if I'll take her out to lunch again (that seemed pretty tiring to her) or maybe I'll just bring a lunch and also make some cupcakes to take and leave with her. I'm sure she'd like to have those to eat. DD is just having flowers sent to her again. 

Today I plan to make some chocolate chip cookies. DH has been wanting some and since Walmart was out of (again) the hostess cupcakes he likes to have with his lunch, he said some cookies sounded good. I need to keep myself from eating them! That will be hard. I'm only down 2 pounds in my diet, so I don't need to be eating those.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

The spy who loves her

Mission accomplished....well mostly. I had already set up the Blink camera  app on my phone and synced the camera to the "module" (the little part that plugs in), so when I got to mom's I just needed to plug the module in and then update it to work off her wi-fi. She went into her bathroom to see what things she might need at the store, so that gave me the opportunity to get it plugged in. Then I quickly moved her dining chair over to the kitchen cabinet so I could stand on it to set the camera up on top.

With the apartment living/kitchen/dining being so small my view is limited to basically half the room on the other side. I did have a little piece of cloth with me to set under the back side of the little camera so I could tilt it a bit down, which helped some. But I can't see her standing right at her sink or sitting in her recliner, which is a bummer. My only other option would be to stick it on a wall, but I'm afraid she would really notice that. Or I could try adding a 2nd camera, I suppose. Attach it to underneath her tv stand shelf, then I'd see her kitchen and recliner.  Just a thought, but probably not necessary.

I tired her out yesterday, taking her to Arby's for lunch and then we stopped at Walgreens for several things for her. Recently I was reading something about how those with dementia get to the point they can't process something like a menu. I've noticed that for a couple years now. The article said they will just ask the person they are with what they are having and pick that. That's what she always does. Then I asked her what she wants to drink and she of course hesitates and says "oh I don't know..." I said does a milkshake sound good? I did then ask her chocolate or vanilla and she chose. 

When we got back to her apartment she was pretty worn out. I went and got her laundry out of the dryer and put it away while she sat in her recliner to rest. She's back to thinking this is a different recliner. With all the activity of trying to get the laundry taken care of, getting the camera hooked up on the sly, etc, I totally screwed up and left the dang little cup of extra pills (one's she's missed taking over the past 10 days) sitting on her desk. Crap crap crap. I was so mad at myself. Now I'll spend every evening call with her, when I get her to dispense and take her pills, with her asking "I have these extra pills in a cup?" The previous few days I tried to get her to put them in a drawer so they'd be out of sight and mind, but never could get her to actually do it.

I'm pretty sure she napped in her recliner most of the afternoon after I left. There were no notifications of movement until after 4pm. I checked in on the camera every so often and she was watching tv/news. It was kind of neat to be on the phone with her at 6 and actually see her take the pills, LOL. But every evening I have to explain to her "yes, I want you to take the pills while we are on the phone". At one point I could tell the pill dispenser was flashing red where the cup goes. She had that dang clear cup in there again. But it was helpful that I could see what is going on with it and I could see she took them.

She didn't watch tv much after that. I couldn't tell what she was doing, no movement other than walking into her bedroom twice. It appears she went to bed about 7:45. The odd thing was she took something (shoes? slippers?) and put them in between her partially closed bedroom door and the door frame. Not sure what that was about. The door will stay put in any position. 

When it got dark the camera then didn't want to work with infrared. I could barely see the room, the picture kind of had a halo over it. From reading it sounds like because the camera is sitting on a light/bright surface, the infrared light is reflecting off it back into the camera. The top of that cabinet is white laminate. It's working fine again now in regular daylight. I'm going to take something dark to lay across the top under the camera next visit and see if that helps so that the night vision works.

She appeared to get up around 6:30 to adjust her heat. This camera also senses the temperature. After she did that it went up to 84. No wonder I'm dying when I go in her apartment and she's always asking are you cold? NO, I'm sweating, LOL. Then it appears she went back to bed and got up about 7:40 and adjusted her heat again. Now it says 80. Not sure if she went back to bed or what. What about breakfast at 8? I have yet to figure out how the residence know what meals are to be eaten downstairs and which meals they bring the meals up. Like breakfast yesterday was brought to their apt's. But lunch was down in the dining room. She is either back in bed or in her bathroom getting ready. All's I can see is just into her room and a corner of her dresser on the other side of it. Her bed is to the left and the bathroom to the right of the doorway.

I got home about 2:45 with my load of groceries. I had ordered a lemon, to make this dessert recipe dd had given me, but no lemon. I took a nap and then got dh some dinner. I was still full from the arby's beef n cheddar, fries and mint chocolate milk shake.

Then I checked my emails. Ok, this is interesting. It's from someone at my mom's investment company saying her investment guy is no longer with the company. They will continue to serve her account with care, blah blah. I wonder what that is all about. The guy was about 60 and I know he has been grooming his son to take over his place, the past couple of years. If he had decided to retire they certainly would have said that or said ok, now son is the main guy.  I don't know if this will be a good thing or a bad thing! I've certainly been annoyed at how he handled what my mom wanted to do with taking uncle off getting 30% and then practically insisting my step siblings deserved half of all the money. I have also been expecting a call last week from his assistant to set up the quarterly phone call, which would be due next week, so that explains why that didn't happen. That's ok, I find them annoying anyway, LOL. Just invest/manage how you always have, I don't need to approve what he's buying/selling recommending. Plus, he's like overly nice and it comes across as really condescending, almost fake nice. But, hey, he'd been doing my parents investments for 30 years and did a good job, so I wasn't interested in rocking the boat. I supposed I should call this new person on Monday and see what scoop I can get.



Friday, April 22, 2022

No work today

I received my state tax refund in my checking yesterday. 6 days! I was expecting a lot longer, LOL. 

There's no inflation..........ya, ok. This morning I just ordered a bag of chicken feed to pick up when I'm in the city today. It's gone up 27% in price since my last purchase. While I spend $5 per gallon of gas to get there. One of these days, when I have extra time I'm going to look at one of my grocery orders from a year ago and see what the prices are now. It's all just insane.

My plan today is to leave a little before 10 this morning. First stop is where the lady works who bought our car, to drop off the manual. Her office is just a block or so off the freeway exit. Then back down that same street to the feed store and get the chicken feed. Then to the bank to deposit the cash. Then to mom's. I will most likely do a load of laundry. Then when I get it into the dryer it should be about lunch time and plan to take her out for something quick and if she needs anything we can stop at Walgreens. Usually she just needs cookies. It's easier to go there then Target or grocery store. She is about the slowest walker in the world, LOL (even though she has no mobility issues). A large parking lot and a large store takes forever to get through with her. After I leave her place I'll stop and pick up my grocery order.

Hopefully I can get the little camera set up. I tested it out in my office. Works fine, but does seem like it will need to be tilted downward facing just a bit, if it's set up high on a cabinet. At least from my home, was able to download the app, set up the account, get the camera synced to the module. Now, when I get it to her place I just have to go through the steps I wrote down to change it to her wifi system.

For some reason dh thought he was going with me today. No....I'm going to spend a couple hours with my mom, laundry etc. He just wants to drive the new car, LOL.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Sending our ballots in

Dh had a fence chat with Mr. Neighbor. Asked him what he knew of the people running for the hospital board. DH got the scoop that 2 of them definitely are running because they think something fishy is going on. The mom of the (ex) friend, that is older, she has apparently said that is the only reason she is running to get on the board - to find out what is going on and expose it if it's not good. So, I guess we at least now have a better idea who to vote for. Mr also had a little info on the lady who wants to get on the ballot for sheriff. She has experience working in federal LEO (she's retired at 62 now) and said she has lived here now long enough to see that the past 8-10 years of sheriff's and jail issues hasn't resolved at all. She needs 200 signatures to get on the ballot now. Mr said he is also voting no on extending the hospital levy. Good.

Then last night dh got a call from another guy who he had been discussing the hospital with. He had talked to dh a couple days earlier about all this and he didn't know if the hospital board members were paid or not. He called back to say he found out they are not and then dh let him know we had also just found out the same and also what we found on the annual tax return info and how the "consulting" firm is related to the 2 past CEO's. etc. This guy also said he knew of the 2 running (out of 6 running, 3 positions open) who want to see what is going on. He also said he and his wife are voting no on extending the levy for the hospital. Is it also a little fishy that the new CEO (I think she's been CEO about a year or so now) somehow got her mother in law on the hospital board?? These are the only 2 people dh has talked to about it, but both of them have lots of contact with others in the community on a regular basis, as well as the one guy's wife does, too (she works for the county).  Hopefully they are also getting word out that this needs to be looked into more, brought out into the open to find out what is going on.

Our weekly county commission meetings used to be video taped most weeks, but that stopped a couple months ago. DH did find meeting minutes online last night. There was a meeting where the hospital CEO came in and asked for the levy to be put on the ballot (the commissioners have to approve if it's put on or not). The minutes say that one of the council members asked the CEO why they needed add another 10 years to the levy (that expires in 2023), but the meeting minutes do not say if/what the CEO replied. The commissioners approved to have it added to the ballot. Also in one of the meeting minutes was apparently the reason they are no longer being recorded is because that was done because of grant $ they had, that expired. Good Lord. Everything this county does is because they have a (taxpayer) grant. I guess it's too hard for their assistant to turn on the camera in the corner of the room and then go sit down, LOL.

Speaking of camera's. The little camera I ordered to try in my mom's apartment arrived, so I'm giving it a test out here in my office. Seems to work ok. Decent video/pics and when in "live" mode I will even be able to hear her (and could talk to her if I wanted, but that would way confuse her, LOL). Hopefully I can get it set up and working tomorrow without having to explain too much of what I'm actually doing, haha. I don't think talking back and forth via it would work well anyway, it lags too much.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Local Peyton Place

Local politics are interesting here this year. Let's see, since we moved here in late 2016 we are now on our 3rd sheriff. It's an elected position and only the first sheriff, who was in when we got here was actually elected. When that guy quit (thank God!) mid term (I'm not sure how long their elected term is for), the county council appointed the deputy sheriff. He worked a year or two, then he quit. Then the council appointed someone from outside our county to be the sheriff, until the next election cycle, which is this fall. He is still currently our sheriff and was running for the elected position, as well as one of the deputies is on the ballot. 

Then the current sheriff decided to drop out  of the race and I guess the deputy sheriff was talked into running, now, against the deputy. Then we just heard that a women, in her early 60's, wants to run for sheriff, but she didn't get on the ballot in time, so now we heard she is trying to gather signatures to get on the ballot. As far as we can tell none of them will be any good. In fact, the deputy running used to be a deputy in another county, where our insulation guy was a county council member and he told dh a couple years ago, when he became a deputy in our county, to get rid of him. He's bad news. Ugh.

I think part of why the current sheriff may not be running (that and apparently heath issues) is a missing woman case that has not been solved. His handling of it has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. She is presumed to have accidentally drowned in the river, but no body has ever been found. 

We also hear things about our little 25 bed county hospital over the last couple of years. Mr. Neighbor used to work there for several years, as an administrator, but quit due to he didn't like how things were being run. There's been a turnover in CEO and CFO of the hospital in the past several years, too. I think they are on their 4th CEO, from what I can gather. And we had heard of some exorbitant salary for one of the CEO's - he was getting paid $40,000 a month! Now there is NO ONE in this little county of 4200 people that needs to be earning $40,000 a month to run a small little hospital! 

This hospital is "nonprofit". It also gets taxpayer money in the form of a mill levy. Some of the hospital board of directors are voted on by the voting residents of the county, but that is not a paid position, from what we can tell. There are 9 board members, but I'm not quite certain how they all get the position. Apparently of of our county commissioners is always also assigned to be a board member. We only have 3 commissioners in our county and the one who was on the hospital board recently quit (quit the hospital board, not being a commissioner) and the other commissioner who got the position has not been to one meeting, not even via zoom.

I don't know the whole story, but this high paid CEO left and they promoted one of the staff PA's to CEO...but kept this prior CEO on as a "consultant" at $20,000 per month (again this is what we heard from a couple different people). Everyone is just like WTF?! Then we just recently heard this consultant earns that for 1 day a month of consulting. 

We just received a ballot in the mail, to vote for 3 "board of directors" out of 6 candidates. Who knows who to even pick and also to extend the mil levy for another 10 years (that comes out of our property taxes). One of the people on the ballot is the mother of that lady I was friends with (our old neighbors in town) but for whatever reason she and her dh dropped us as friends. Anyhow, her mom is running to be on the board. I can't imagine why - she's gotta be in her late 70's and quite honestly, the several times I had been around her and talked to her, she never struck me as the type that would be good for a position such as this.

Every little bit we ever hear (from different people) who know about this exorbitant amount of money going to this consultant is that something shady is going on, but no one knows what. No one on the hospital board will seem to explain the why of it. 

DH and I did a little digging. He found some meeting minutes online from the past couple of months (they meet monthly). Someone in the community was at the meeting and asked if the public/taxpayers could see the contract with this consulting company. He was told no, that they do not have to show it. Someone else commented this was already discussed last meeting and it's not up for discussion. Basically a few members of the board upset that it's being asked again. Then the notes say that one of the board members who was grumbling about it being asked for, then resigned at the end of the meeting.

I'm like they are non profit - tax exempt status, aren't they supposed to be transparent in their finances? I looked online to see if I could find their 990 forms filed each year. Nothing on their website (of course, though the other small hospital in the county to the north of us  has theirs available on their website). I found the past several years on the IRS website and took a look. The most recent one filed and available to view is from fiscal year ending 6/30/20, which they filed in Feb 2021. They started paying the "consulting firm" the year before. For this most recent year available to see they paid this firm $425,000.

Part of the reason I think there are some "in the know" who are questioning this is that the former CEO is the one who owns/president of this consulting firm. Also, listed as one of the consultants on their staff is the guy who was president before that. Just all seems a little fishy - especially since they won't answer people's questions as to what it's exactly for and why they are still needing it, several years later, here in 2022.....

We're voting no on extending the levy another 10 years. I'm sure it will pass, though. Most people have no clue and don't pay attention and on the ballot they word it as "this will not increase your property taxes". I consider an additional 10 years of taxes increasing my property tax bill.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Quiet next door

I'm still surprised we have not seen the new neighbors who bought the 2 lots next to us. We were certain as soon as snow was gone and ground warmed up they'd be right out here getting started on it all, especially as the guy said he has some of his own equipment to do the land clearing. Haven't seen them even out here looking around at their property. Around here, as soon as the ground is ready you want to get started. When we drove into town last weekend we saw a couple of properties where people were started on the site work. One was getting their well dug. Since building, even a spec home, around here, takes about a year, you want to get started asap in the spring to even stand a chance of getting your home at least to the point of "dried in" before next winter comes in late Fall. Well, I guess if they aren't doing anything this year, that's good for us, haha. Less annoyance. The couple that bought lot 6, will be 3 years into their 5 year plan, this summer. Wonder if that is still their plan to start building in 5 years. Lots can change in 5 years.

There is a house that has been for sale for about 5 months, on the river about 5 miles up river from us. Someone bought it in late spring/summer of last year and reduced it to 5 acres (instead of 40) and updated the house just to flip it and put in on the market for 1.4 million. Dh had talked to someone who knew the "flipper" and he said they put about $100k into it. Two 2 weeks after listing it they dropped it a whopping $10,000, LOL. I see they just now reduced it by another $90,000, down to 1.3 million. I don't know...still seems way overpriced. I think the guy paid about a million for the house (that's what it listed for) and 40 acres. Supposedly he'll be breaking up into 5 acre lots for the rest. I'm not sure if he will just be selling the lots, or building and selling. So far he hasn't listed any lots, so not sure what the plan is. Obviously if he bought the house to flip and it's not selling quickly, he's losing money.

When the house originally went for sale last spring and it sold so fast, it was right when things were starting to go crazy with people moving due to pandemic, etc. We were like wow, that house sold so fast, the market must be hot! Then after a little while we were like, how come no one else listing their places around here, for similar amounts, aren't selling fast? Then we found out it sold to a flipper, so that's why it sold fast. Obviously the guy thought he'd put some money into to to update it from it's 90's look and turn around and sell it and make a good profit. 

But, I'm guessing he didn't do his homework very well about this area. (he's from the city). High priced homes out here in this area (40-50 miles from the city) do not sell very fast at all. Even in a good market. Some of the higher priced homes have taken a couple of years to sell, even longer. Some still haven't sold. And now with higher interest rates than last year, I'm sure a high priced home is going to get even a little harder to sell now. 

As for the neighbors on the other side of us....just waiting to hear the news that their son and family will be moving in when they move over here and get started on their house...........


Monday, April 18, 2022

Super lazy Sunday

I pretty much did absolutely nothing yesterday. Felt super slow and tired all day and like my whole body just didn't want to move much. Mostly my legs felt that way and then later in the day it moved into my arms, too. Not sure today is much better, we'll see.

After I made blueberry muffins for breakfast I remembered I needed to cancel the insurance on the car we sold! Got that done and a refund will apparently be made to my credit card, as I had just renewed for the whole 6 months earlier this month.

In our old car we usually had the back seats folded down because we were either hauling groceries or had the dog with us. I had 2 old twin sized fake down comforters inside a duvet (from dd's bed when she was living at home before college) and we had that laying in the back of the car. Collect pet hair and give him some cushion. Easy to take out and clean. Dh wanted something similar in back, but in solid black to match the car (instead of turquoise LOL) so I bought a black blanket the previous weekend. After having the doubled down comforters before, this seemed really thin and it didn't really seem to want to stay in place when the dog moves around. So, we decided to go back to using the comforters, but I just ordered a cheap black cotton duvet cover from Amazon and we tossed the old turquoise one.

DH ate the leftover enchiladas for dinner. I just had a bowl of rice krispies (or Rice Krips, as the Great Value version is called). Not much on the weight loss, my 2 pounds loss was 1.5 pounds loss when I weighed yesterday. We had 6 blueberry muffins left, so dh had a couple heated up as an evening snack. He's adding a lot of weight, too, but he eats constantly, so that's no surprise. I'm sure when he can start back in mowing the lawn and doing all that he will drop quite a few pounds.

We forgot to give the car manual to the couple that bought it. The guy messaged dh to ask if we had it, by chance, DH found it in his files of stuff and offered to mail it to them. For whatever reason the guy didn't want to give out their address, so dh mentioned I'll be in the city on Friday, so now I guess I have to drop it off at the wife's workplace. Geez,  what do they think we're gonna do with their address?! Do we look like the type of people that aren't trustworthy? LOL. I told dh ever since he put the manual in his file stuff (YEARS ago) I just got the pdf copy off the internet and have always used that when I needed to look something about the car up. Just send him the pdf file.  

It warmed up to mid 40's yesterday and all the wet snow melted really quick. By later afternoon it looked like a different place around here.

I hate those Facebook posts where someone is posting a picture every day for 10 days and tagging a new person each day to do the same. One of my friends started doing it about 5 days ago and I'm like of these 10 days the tag is probably going to be me...yep. yesterday. I don't do those things, LOL. I don't feel like finding a new picture to post each day, let alone I DO NOT want to tag any of my friends. I probably don't even have 10 haha, let alone 10 that would want to participate, just like me. I'm just going to ignore it. Sorry friend, LOL.

Well, that's all I've got for today.

Sunday, April 17, 2022


Well, that was easy! Sold the car to the first people that came and looked at it. DH had gotten a message yesterday morning that a couple wanted to come look at it at 1pm. We have a Facebook friend who owns the title company in town. I messaged her on FB to ask if she knows of anyone in town available to do a notary on the car title this weekend. I also put an inquiry on our town buy/sell type of FB page. The title company owner replied right back that she was out of town for the weekend, but would check and see if one of her other employees was available to do it. Then she messaged back the girl would meet us at her office at 11. I said we'll be there! Turns out she only lives like a block or two from her office so it wasn't out of her way and she said she needed to go out to the store anyway. We were done in about 5 minutes. I'm so thankful we were able to get the title notarized beforehand.

DH also had 3 others messaging him and told them someone was coming at 1 but he'll let them know if they don't buy it. They showed up right at 1 o'clock. Nice couple with 2 teenagers. The mom loved the car and they handed over our asking price and drove it off. Didn't even go test drive it.

Merry Easter - we already had several inches on the ground and it snowed pretty much all yesterday afternoon and evening. It's been snowing since I got up. Feels like winter holiday, not Easter! We don't do an Easter dinner. I don't even know what we're going to have for dinner today. Last night I made the enchiladas (to which every time he starts to eat them dh says "dang, these are good!) and there was some left in the dish and dh said that looks like enough for some leftovers, so I out them in the fridge. That's probably what he'll have for dinner. I am going to make blueberry muffins for breakfast, after dh gets up.

I just ordered that little security type camera, from Amazon, I'm going to try to put in mom's apartment. It's supposed to be here Tues, so should be here before I go see her on my day off next Friday. I really need to access how she's really doing by herself in her apartment and am hoping that gives me some insight by watching her for a bit. She was confused about her pills again last night...called me up about a half hour after the app showed she dispensed them - and apparently also had a prior days cup of pills, so she missed a day again. I am just going to have to call her every evening and make sure she actually takes them and not assume she is. 

I think on Friday I am going to stop at the flooring place and look at carpet for our bonus room and see if I can get an estimate on what it would cost to have installed. I just want some type of light colored berber type up there. We need about 650 sqft. We've measured it like twice now and each time I forget where I wrote it down. Maybe it's in my phone notes.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Taxes filed and other complaining

I finally got my tax (state and federal) returns done yesterday and filed. I had started it like back early Feb, but didn't seem like I was getting much of an adjustment for all the medical bills, as well as I should have gotten a subsidy of about $200/mo on dh's ACA insurance plan I put him on last September and didn't realize there was a subsidy available. I must have missed checking off a box or answering a question, but when I went back through all the questions there was a spot for me to enter his Form 1095-A (I think that form came after I had first started working on it) and then the taxes owed adjusted down. I also remembered that we still had the last part of the "capital loss carryover" to claim from dh's dad's estate. They only let you take $3000 per year, so we got $3000 the last 2 years and then the last $2598 to use up this year.  I ended up with a large $2219 state refund and  owing $1414 on Federal, so a total refund of $805. Just good to have that done and off my to do list. Not to mention some extra money in my pocket this year sure doesn't hurt.

Can you even imagine going out to a dinner that costs $1000 per person??!!  That's a bill I just paid for our company owner and company president and their significant others.  Some fancy restaurant they went to in California. Yet, there isn't enough money in the company budget to give raises in the last 3 years....

I just did another review to see if any recent raises have been put in. Our of the 22 long time employees (I left out the management and all the people starting with in last year or so) just in the past 2 months 7 of them have finally gotten raises, after at least 3 years. They ranged between 2.8% and 15%. I think at some point, soon, I'm going to broach the subject with my boss as "I'm wondering if the company is going to re-implement doing annual performance reviews." We used to always do annual reviews - part supervisor reviewed, part self review. That got completely dropped when they stopped giving raises. The company's income is relative to inflation. Our mfg's we rep keep upping their prices, which in turn, increases our commission revenue dollars. Let alone a $1000 a plate dinner...........

DH cleaned up the old car, took some pics, and listed in on Facebook marketplace. Then he remembered this state requires that you have to sign off the title in front of a notary. Oh good grief. How stupid is that! Of course, if someone wants it this weekend there is no where in town to go have it done. Then I texted our neighbor (who works at a bank) to ask if she's a notary and she said she let hers expire in December, since she'll be retiring. Dang it! Where we used to live when you sell something with a title you just sign off on it and give it to them, you don't have to jump through hoops. Oh, and also when you sell a car here you have to take the license plates off. So weird, LOL.

DH was trying to take a picture of the moon last night and opened the door to step outside to take one that wasn't thru the window. The dang cat ran out. Now he has done this before the last couple days and with the snow and cold he he turned around and came right back in. Well, he wouldn't come back in. It was 9pm. We didn't get him inside until 11pm. It was like 25 degrees out. I'm still mad at him this morning.

The picture was good! (though the best one was from inside the laundry room door). This was at 9pm and the moon was so bright and with no flash

About an hour before this picture we spent about a half hour watching the 3 "neighborhood" deer in our back yard. I'm sure it's the same 3 we see around often, usually crossing the road about 1/2 mile down when going to town.

I received some other money in the mail yesterday. Our phone company is like a co-op type and distribute extra funds back, usually, each year. A whopping $13.76, haha. I wonder how long it takes to get the state tax refund back. When I looked up online to see if I could find out what the typical turn around time is, all I can find is it takes up to 90 days. Hopefully they are not that dang slow.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Good Friday

Woke up to 5 inches of snow on the ground. Heck ya, it's April! 

In the past years we usually closed the office early for Good Friday. Most of our east coast manufacturers were always closed for the day, we'd get emails notifying us their offices will be closed. Doesn't seem so much the case anymore. I haven't received one mfg email and we aren't closing early again this year.

My mom has been doing great getting her meds dispensed and taken each evening after dinner, now. The once a day plan is much better than twice a day. What a difference it has made to my first half of each day! I don't have to keep looking at my phone the first hour, to see if she took them (which most often she didn't) and then keep trying (and remembering, while I'm busy with work) to call her every 15 minutes or so for several hours, hoping I can catch her back at her apartment to remind her.

I've been keeping a little log in my notebook of things I have changed or found cheaper to save money. And then I've annualized the savings. When I write down I saved .10 cents per pill on my dogs Cosequin ds chewable tablets, it doesn't seem like much at all, but annualized, since he takes 2 pills per day, it's an $80 savings, from me finding a cheaper source to purchase them from.

This is what I have so far, my making changes/finding cheaper: 

Adequan (arthritis injections for dog) - saving $336/yr
Claritin - $27/yr
Canned chicken - (estimate) $19/yr
Walmart 5% cash back card - $210/yr (over what I was getting using my 2% card)
Not buying organic milk anymore - $120/yr
Not purchase the HRV filter this year - $350
Receiving extra $25/mo from employer to HSA - $300/yr

That's $1362 in savings/extra money this next year. I'm really trying to look at all the things we purchase on a regular basis and see if I can save. A lot of it, I'm not coming up with anything better, but I'll keep working at it.

Here's a little laugh for you. Not that I wear makeup on a daily basis anymore, but I'm getting low on foundation and mascara (well, more like the mascara is drying out because it's getting so old with no use, haha). So, I decided to order some online makeup to try. It comes in the mail yesterday morning. I take the mascara tube out of the box

Then I open it to give it a try. Only the wand is like curved in a half circle! (even more curved than the picture) and I'm like what in the heck is this deal? I could barely get it out of the tube. My eyes aren't curved that much. It was almost impossible to even get the mascara onto my lashes, but I finally got some on, thinking what in the heck.
I go back to my desk to look up the mascara again on my computer and realize that end piece twists to curve or straighten the wand! I'm sure it will go on much easier next time ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2022

My middle name

I feel like I keep getting hungrier every day, LOL.  I keep telling myself to make some hard boiled eggs for a snack to have on hand and yet I haven't. My procrastination level is awful. It's my middle name. Same with getting that Passport applied for! Still hadn't done anything! So, I did download, print and start to fill out the application. Now I gotta get into the safe and get out my birth certificate. So you just give them the original?  Apparently they send it back. You'd think I'd know how this works after doing/helping my dh and 2 kids get passports years ago. Son got one to go to Australia to race. Then dh decided to get one, because, well - racing is a dangerous sport and if something happened to him over there while racing, dh would most likely be the one to have gone, so he got the passport. DD got one to go to Ireland.

The whole reason for me to get one is to get into Canada to go visit my half sister in Alberta. While our state is a border state, it doesn't offer the enhanced driver's license (that's dumb!) so I'll need a passport. But for some reason the past few months my sis has been very quiet and not very chatty. I know she went back to work f/t and her job is pretty stressful right now, so maybe that is just it. We used to text pretty often and seemed pretty equal on both sides of contacting each other. I have tried a couple of times in the past 2-3 months, but getting really short conversations from her. I tried again last Friday evening. I know she likes similar shows and movies as I do, and I thought she had Apple+TV (because she had once recommended a movie from that service for me to watch) so I texted and asked if she still had Apple+tv and she said she did, what's up? I said oh there's a really good show I just finished watching that I thought you'd like and told her about it. She said good, she was looking for something new to watch and about 15 minutes later texted back she had just started it and seemed good so far. Haven't heard back from her since. I thought about texting her again to ask if she watched more of it, but now I'm feeling like I'm just bugging her....and I feel like if she did watch it and like it she would have texted back at some point to mention it.

Anyhow, I did also look up if there is a AAA office in the city and it's by my doctor's office. So, when I go in on my day off next Friday, I will stop in and get the photo. I might first stop in Walgreens (right near my mom and all the stores) to see if they do them and save the extra 4-5 miles to get to the AAA office.

After dinner last night, I finally made some hard boiled eggs. Geez - that was hard, LOL. 

Maybe I'll get my tax return done today............

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Goofy cats and tv's that won't turn off

This cat I have is goofy. He will no longer even try to sleep with me when I go to bed. Nor does he want to "stay up" and just do whatever. No, as soon as I get in bed he starts whining, LOL. Little upset mew's and he's back and forth under and over the bed doing this. As soon as I get up he's at my legs wanting me to pick him up and take him upstairs to my office. The whole time I carry him upstairs he is purring. I put him in the room, turn out the light, and shut the door and there he stays until I get up.

So, last night I tried something different. I put him there, turned the light back off, but left the door ajar. Just to see what he would do. Would he just decide to stay there? Nope. I'm back in bed and 2 minutes later he's back whining. LOL. So, back upstairs and shut the door. Crazy cat.

That "OTC benefit" that my mom's medicare advantage plan has apparently increased the benefit this year from $25 per quarter to $50. I didn't realize that. Nice.  

Yesterday my mom actually took her meds a little before her set time to chime at her (6:10pm). This is what I had noticed she was doing most days for that time, so it was good to see she actually thought about it on her own again. That NEVER happened for mornings. I'm just also relieved that she's not thinking her med dispenser alarm is her phone ringing.

Payroll processing sucked yet again. Part of it was waiting on my boss to answer a few questions before I could move to the next step. Then once she did (she's always in meetings all Tuesday mornings), it was another issue that neither she nor I could figure out, so back to emailing our advisor person again and then waiting for her to reply. I got annoyed and unmotivated to work after that. It just drags the day on so long to work on it for an hour or so, then wait. Then be able to work on it for 10 minutes, then wait, repeat all day. I just want to do it and get it done, not spend all day on it.

I scheduled next Friday the 22nd off work. Just because and I'll be due for getting a grocery order and can combine it with a mom visit, too. She called me Monday evening and could not get her tv to turn off. She was pressing the correct button, so I assume the remote batteries died. She ended up unplugging the tv because she didn't know where the on/off button is on the tv itself. Then she called me last evening....."someone has been in her apartment and unplugged her tv!". No called me last night and couldn't get your tv to turn off. We think it's the remote control batteries, so you unplugged the tv to get it to turn off. She has zero memory of this. I again tried to get her to take her remote control downstairs and ask if they have extra batteries. They also have a maintenance guy (and the apartment supplies the cable box/remote) so maybe he has some extras. But, I know she will forget.

So, this morning I emailed the "resident experience coordinator" (she's the only one I have an email for) to explain the situation and ask if there might be someone there that can help her. See if it is her remote batteries that need to be replaced and maybe borrow some and help her get her tv plugged back in. Hopefully they can. She can't be the only resident there that needs help with something from time to time.

Speaking of the other residents. A recent visit there, as I was coming back down the hall from the laundry and my mom, who forgot where I went, stepped out her door at the same time her neighbor lady across the hall was stepping out of hers, so we chatted with her a bit. She was telling us she's a bit upset because during the night there is a red light shining through her blinds and she can't sleep. I can't imagine what it could be. Her apartment faces the front of the building and across the parking lot is another senior living place. I suggested maybe she just needs to get some curtains, so the light is all blocked. Her response? "I'm not paying for curtains!" LOL. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tuesday this and that

I was chatting online with dd, asking her how her weekend went. They had gone to spend the weekend with her dh's parents (they live about 70 miles apart). The reason for spending the whole weekend there was to help his parents go through his sister's belongings (she passed a few years ago and apparently all her belongings are in boxes since then), but dd said they barely did anything with it all. She was a bit frustrated. While she completely understands it's a hard process, dd is also super busy and felt it was just a wasted weekend, especially when she has lots to always get done on weekends - studying for her masters degree, taking care of her house/yard, errands, etc. 

Plus, just in general, her MIL is a hoarder, so dd doesn't really enjoy spending weekends there. Just too much stuff everywhere and dd says she gets home and feels like she needs to purge even more from her own home, LOL. I said I can relate. Now that I don't do clutter anymore, I can't stand it. It gives me anxiety. My dh's shop was giving me lots of anxiety to go in there, but it's much better now that he has gotten rid of some stuff and also organized it better. I don't feel suffocated when I walk in the door. There is actually space. DD said her dh was heading a little in that direction with not ever wanting to get rid of anything they have, and just throwing everything in one of their spare bedrooms, starting to pile up, but she said she seems to have him on the right path now and they've been doing a good job of taking unneeded/unused stuff to goodwill or putting in on the free marketplace page. He is liking their clean, neat home more than a cluttered home.

I have been in her MIL's home 2-3 times and it was pretty bad. Just piles of stuff everywhere. You couldn't even sit on a chair at their dining table. She had to move piles off the chairs and then move piles off the table. There wasn't an empty spot on the kitchen counters. Their front living room was full of boxes. DD said when they try to get her to even get rid of old boxes and empty containers, she thinks there is a use for them.  

I was seeing how much mortgage interest rates are climbing. Boy, am sure glad I decided to refinance last year, a little over a year ago. Got in at 2.5%. DD and her dh would love to get a new house or build a house, but not at these interest rates, and especially since they'd like to build, it would be awhile and it sounds like they will just keep going up. My dh is still constantly looking online at home prices, what's for sale, etc. Zillow now has our home at $1,050,000. Every so often he'll joke we should sell it and I say what - to have to go spend the same amount on something else? well, now if he says it again I'm going to say what - to have to go spend the same amount on something else AND have double the interest rate we have on this house?! HA! 

It looks winter-y again here. A couple inches of snow over everything.

Our old car repairs are supposed to be done, probably today. I guess the check engine light that was on forever had something to do with "actuators" (did I even spell right?) needing to be replaced. Once we get it back dh is going to list it for sale and hopefully it will sell quickly.

I have a 2% cash back credit card I always use, through PayPal. It has always given the cash back on the day they process the monthly statement. Then I just transfer it to my checking. I logged in yesterday to make a cc payment and it was showing like $23 in cash back available to redeem. What? It's not the 20th of the month. I went ahead and redeemed it. Logged back in this morning and now there is .63 from a purchase I had just made. Apparently now they are adding the cash back as soon as the charge goes through. I wonder why. 

It's payroll processing to it I go. Oh, and I got on the scale last night at lost 2 pounds. That doesn't do much for me, LOL, but if I can get to 5 pounds that will make me feel like I am starting to make progress.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Ready for the week

After our big grocery stock up the prior weekend, when I was in the city visiting mom, I only really needed milk. I also picked up some Hostess cupcakes that dh likes to eat with his lunch. They seem to always be out of stock now at Walmart, but typically the regular grocery store or Target has them, so I grabbed 2 boxes. Even though I love desserts and sweets, this is one thing in the pantry I rarely eat.

Yesterday I made spaghetti for dinner, which will give us leftovers for dinner tonight, which is always nice. I'm still loving the Texas garlic toast type of garlic bread over the loaf kind. Quick to heat up and no waste. Unfortunately, last trip Walmart was out of their Great Value brand so I had to buy the more expensive name brand. I tried to serve up my portion of spaghetti a bit smaller. I gave us each 2 slices of french bread, that I usually eat, but I only ate one and wrapped my extra up in a piece of foil and will have it with leftovers tonight.

I also made myself some tapioca pudding. A half cup serving only has 85 calories. One peanut butter cookie (I'd have like 3) is almost twice that. Plus, I've been wanting some but haven't made it in quite awhile as it uses up a lot of milk and I always feel like I'll run out too soon if I use up almost 3 cups for that.

We are back to winter weather. Cold and a bit snowy. Nights this coming week will be down in the 20's and even teens. It looks like next week we start to get back into 50's during the day.  

Yesterday afternoon our retired friend stopped by for a visit. The cat always goes and hides when he comes, but yesterday he finally got brave and came out and gradually kept getting closer. He was making a circle walking around the dining room (we were sitting at dining table) and the kitchen. Each trip he was making his circle a little smaller. Finally he ended up on the chair next to friend, LOL. 

DH is sleeping in this morning. I have no idea what time he came to bed (it's always late) but for awhile, after I went to bed, I could hear him in his den laughing as he was watching something on his computer. It kind of sounded like maybe the old comedian Don Rickles. Whatever it was, he was enjoying it, LOL. 

When I was driving home from seeing mom I finally used a SiriusXM channel (we have 6 months of it) and listened to a comedy channel. The lady I was listening to on the way home was so funny. It was enjoyable and I have a feeling we'll listen to stuff like that on our trip to Utah in June.

Whenever I bring mom's meds to refill she always say "oh, let me know what I owe you for these". I always have to say that it's charged to her credit card, so she doesn't owe me anything. Oh, I forgot to say yesterday when talking about her, she also was trying to tell me she could start filling her meds up in the machine if I just show her how! I said that's ok, it's kind of confusing to use the menu. What I wanted to say was you can't even get them dispensed half the time, you sure aren't going to know/remember how to fill them up! LOL. On a good note, though, she again dispensed her meds at 6:10 last evening, so 3 days in a row. And I am really really liking not having to deal with the morning medications! It was getting a bit much to spend my whole morning, often up until 1pm, trying to get a hold of her and remind her to take them.

I got her tax return done and submitted last Friday. I don't know why I procrastinate on that, other than I just seriously hate doing taxes. I basically had hers done 6 weeks ago. Now I have to get mine finished. They are also mostly done. I just need to do a review and make sure I didn't miss anything. I also emailed her retirement account assistant and told her for her distributions going forward to w/h 5% for state taxes. That should cover most of it. 2020 was hard to know what her typical state income tax would be. She didn't live in the state for the full year, plus with Covid she was allowed to not take her distribution so her income was much lower than usual, so not much taxes owed. For 2021, with a full distribution, it ended up being about 6%.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Saturday mom visit

My visit with mom went good yesterday. She was doing well. I had tried calling her all morning to remind her I was coming, but no answer. I know on the schedule it was breakfast, wii bowling and then exercise, then lunch. I wasn't getting there until around 1pm, so figured she'd be back in her apartment after lunch and if not, well, I'd get her laundry started and get her pills refilled, haha. (I have a key to her apartment).

Weekends are often meals brought to their apartments, so when I got there just before 1pm she was in her apartment just finishing eating her lunch. I got her medication dispenser filled up and also retaped the plug in down in back. Not sure what else to try. Before, I had put several pieces of electrical tape over it. It was still stuck to the back, but all wadded, where she had removed it to unplug. I'm laughing to myself thinking ya, sure....this was taped down with 4-5 pcs of tape and it came unplugged because the cleaners bumped the desk with the vacuum.....LOL! I put tape over it every which way, again, and then wrapped a long continuous piece around the whole base and back over it partway. She's really going to have to work at it to get it off. Next visit I may bring something I cut into like a small square a few inches in size and place that over the plug in and tap that down. I also tried to explain to her again which cup to use in the dispenser. I took the white (cut down) styrofoam cup and wrote on it "Medication Cup" in sharpie pen.

I said I'm going into your bedroom to get your laundry, I'm sure some needs to be done. She says ya..I probably do need to do some. I can do that. Again, laughed to myself. Mom, you haven't done laundry in almost 2 years, LOL. I did actually say to her "well, I'm going to just get it done now - you always tell me you will do it but you don't go do it". She was her usual well, I wash things out in the sink. I said well, you can't wash these night gowns in the sink can you? Well, no..... I also discovered last visit that one of the washing machines has a "quick wash" setting. I've been using that to save a little time. It's not like her stuff is super dirty and I do think it's shaving a good 15 minutes off the wash time. Sometimes it's a bit hard to wait almost 2 hours for it all to get done.

Later, we were just sitting chatting and she's in her recliner and I'm in the little loveseat and I say is your recliner still feeling uncomfortable, maybe we need to go look for a new one soon. She says oh, did I tell you about it? They brought my recliner back! So, it's all good now. OMG! I was dying inside laughing. I guess it's all good now, LOL. One thing she almost always brings up when we are sitting chatting is "when I'm gone do you think you'll want some of this furniture?" I just say oh, maybe some of it. I have most of the furniture I need for now.". Sure...I want an old recliner, an old twin bed/mattress and a student size desk, haha ;)

Her calendar on her kitchen wall still says January, but she knew it was the 9th of April yesterday, when she was looking at her activities calendar. She's always been one to tear off her address from magazines, junk mail etc and then shred that part. But, the past year or so she doesn't seem to shred them. I'm in her bathroom and I see some little papers on her small vanity countertop and I look and it's 3 pieces where she had torn off her address. Why they are on her bathroom counter, no clue. I asked her what phone number she has for my uncle as a ph# that goes to nowhere is showing up as her repeatedly trying to call, with his area code. She got out her little address book and looked him up. She did have 3 different #'s for him (OLD OLD work# and must have been an old landline#, plus his cell). But, neither of these 2 numbers was what she is dialing. I crossed out the bad 2 numbers listed. I looked around trying to find something on her desk (lots of papers, notes as usual) but I can find nothing with this ph#. Not sure where she is getting it.

But, overall she did seem really good. While we were waiting for clothes to get dried she said let's go downstairs to the dining room (she called it kitchen) and see what they have for something to snack on. They have an area with some snacks, coffee, tea, etc. So we grabbed a couple of small blueberry type pastry and she got her mail. In the elevator was a sign for "movie night" being held last night at 6:30. I don't know that she has ever gone down for those. She has never mentioned it. The movie was Driving Miss Daisy and I said "oh that's a really cute movie". She did comment she doesn't go down for the movies.  At 6:10 I got the notification she took her meds. Yay!

But, apparently she did go see the movie downstairs last night, so something in our conversation must have stuck in her mind. She called me later and said she went down to watch a movie and when she got back her tv is on. She didn't leave it on/turn it on, so someone must have come in her apt.. but the issue was she couldn't get it turned off! I know she was pressing the correct button to turn it off so the only thing I could think is her remote batteries died! I told her there is a button on her tv to turn off but I had no idea where. I think it was her that said well, I can just unplug it. I said maybe someone there can loan you some batteries and I'll bring some new ones to replace theirs. 

We got some snow again last night. More predicted off and on this week with colder temps again. 

Oh and driving my car was awesome! I love it. So smooth and quiet to drive. Of course I parked way out from other cars....of course each time (mom's and 2 stores) I get back out to my car and someone parked right next to me! Why is that? LOL.  

A week or so ago I had cut my hair again, but for some reason was having a hard time getting some layers in. I just wasn't cutting enough off to make the layers and was being too hesitant. It looked awful, haha. Yesterday morning I decided to try some more and finally got it looking better. Then a little curling iron to tame the curls and looked ok. When I was checking in mom's place one of the lady's that works there was standing back in the office behind the desk and I said hello (she knows who I am) and then said "your hair looks so good!" I was like thank you! I didn't tell her I cut it myself, LOL.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Tipping the scale

Yesterday must have been a good day for mom. I held my phone at 6:10pm expecting a call and instead got the app notification she dispensed her meds. I'm going to go see her today for a couple hours.

Most of my life I have been thin, probably even a little underweight most times. From teenage to 40 I was between 95 and 105 pounds. (5'4 1/2"). It was hard for me to gain weight. But, pretty much since I had my car accident back in 2007 (age 43) and injured my back and neck my weight started going up. I wasn't able to be as active as I was. I've never exercised much, but back before I had the accident, I did do some and was trim and actually had a pretty toned stomach from exercises I did. I think that accident and changing hormones has led to the weight gain, along with now heading towards 60. I don't expect to be 110 anymore.

After we moved to Montana (and probably feeling lots more relaxed) I got up to about 130. When we lived that 9 months in our shop and while the house was being built - with no kitchen and eating lots of lighter meals, I lost quite a bit. I can't remember what I ended up back down to. I think I was about 115. Then we moved in the house and 3 years later I am at the heaviest I have ever been in my life. Our scale is still out in the shop bathroom, so I rarely ever get on it. My pants are way too tight now. I went out and weighed myself yesterday. 138 pounds. Yikes! 

Even without the scale in the house, I've known the past couple of years (and especially months) I'm gradually gaining (due to clothes getting tighter) but I really thought after dh's pancreatitis and gallbladder removal and us eating much lighter dinner meals now and hardly any meat, that I would start loosing at least little bit. But, no - I just keep going up. GAH!

I know the past several months has been way too much cookies (I keep making cookies!) and chocolates (dh keeps adding chocolates, usually a big bag of Reeses minis, when we shop). That has to stop. I've never been much of a lunch eater. Typically I snack over a couple hours on a couple of cookies, or some crackers. Nothing good or healthy. This week (even before weighing myself) I decided I need to try to eat a better lunch, so maybe I won't be so tempted to keep eating cookies and muffins. I am really not a sandwich eater, but I have been making myself either a lunch meat sandwich (1/2 a sandwich for this kind) or a fried egg sandwich. No cookies or chocolate (both are gone now, so that should help).

Before this week here is a typical day of my eating:

Cup of coffee when I first get up, about 7:15am- some sugar and a little creamer added.

About an hour or so later I almost always (95% of the time) have a glass of Carnation instant breakfast. That has been my breakfast since jr. high, LOL. Every so often I will buy muffins (like orange/cranberry muffins) and have that for breakfast.

Then between then and dinner, I will snack on whatever sounds good. I rarely eat chips or drink soda. In fact I don't drink much of anything other than the cup of coffee, the milk/instant breakfast and half glass of milk for dinner. Occasionally in the evening I will have a cup of tea, but not often. I'll grab 2 cookies. Then go grab 2 more.....or grab a handful of chocolate chips from the little container I keep them in.

So, the past week or two I have been making sure I bring up a bottle of water to my office. 16.9 oz, so I guess equivalent of 2 glasses/cups of water. I've also realized that I do not like cold from the fridge water, LOL. I'll only take a couple of sips and set it down. If I take a bottle from the pantry, I will drink half of at one time. Then later, finish the other half. Now that I'm getting in the habit of drinking this bottle, I'm starting to add a second one. It seems if I drink the water when I am a little bit wanting a snack, between breakfast and lunch that is tiding me over until I make my sandwich and then in the afternoon tiding me over until it's dinner time.

Then I'm drinking the other half of the water with lunch. Now, when I'm done with work and go downstairs to get dinner started, I drink another half a bottle. 

I made pizza for dinner Thursday night. I always only have 2 slices. I've never felt like that was over eating, LOL. But, if I feel like I need some dessert/snack later, I'm just going to have a cup of tea. We had 3 leftover pieces, so I just had one piece for lunch yesterday.

Hopefully I can get my weight back down in the 125 range. While even that seems high to me, it seems to be where I've been at most of the past 15 years and I can live with that and so can my clothes.

As I said, the majority of our dinners are much less than we used to eat, so the weight gain has me a little baffled. I'll bet 2 times a week (for months now) I just end up having a bowl of cereal, when dh asks for tomato soup or an omelette. Another night we'll have taquitos or egg rolls. I'll just have 2, that's it. A few nights we have some type of casserole or pasta type meal, but I don't eat a huge amount. I feel like I am eating the same portion sizes I've always eaten.

Obviously, I'm going to need to definitely cut out the cookies, cake, ice cream and chocolates! And most likely throw in some activity, if I want to lose some weight and at least feel comfortable in my clothes and not have to go out and buy larger size. So, that's my goal to work on. Kind of hard to get in that mindset when I spent 25 years trying to gain a little weight, LOL.

I will say that this week, most likely a combination of eating a decent lunch and the water, I have not experienced the mid afternoon tiredness I usually have, where I just completely feel like I need a nap. That's a huge improvement, in my book, even if I don't lose any weight.

Friday, April 8, 2022

I hate it when I'm right

Yep, I called it on mom's medication situation. While she dispensed the pills when I was on the phone with her Wednesday at 6:10pm (this was the first day I changed her schedule to all pills at same time, so I had called to make sure she understood why 5 pills were going to dispense instead of 1) SHE DID NOT TAKE THEM! When we were getting off the phone I said ok, don't forget to take them now and she said they are right in my hand, I'll take them as soon as I hang up.

Then last night right after 6:10pm she calls and says did you just try to call me? She did this same thing on Tuesday, I remembered. No, mom, it must be your medication dispenser that you are hearing chime, it's time to take your medication. Of course we went through the whole conversation again as to that she's taking all her pills in the evening now, instead of just one. She again tried to say "wouldn't morning be better?" I said no, I've been trying to make sure you get you morning pills for 2 weeks now and that isn't working because your schedule is always different when you are downstairs. You are hardly ever in your apartment in the morning, when it's time to take them, and I have to keep trying to call you all morning.

She dispenses them into the cup and then says, I thought I already just did this - there's another cup here with 5 pills in it............. I said oh shoot! then you didn't take last night's pills after we got off the phone. (there is no way should could have dispensed twice on same day) So, I got her to take one set of the 5 pills while on the phone with me and then I told her to put the extra cup of pills in her drawer and I will take care of them on Saturday. Of course confused why I would want her to put them in a drawer and should she cover them up. I said so they don't get mixed up when you have to take your pills tomorrow. Then she says I just need to make a big sign to remind me. do that, LOL.

So now I'm apparently dealing with her dispensing them, but not actually taking them and also now thinking when the machine chimes (and lights up) that it's time for her medication she thinks her phone is ringing. I guess at this point I'm going to have to be on the phone with her each evening at 6:10 and make sure she actually takes them before we hang up. Well, I guess that's better than having to do that 2 times a day! I guess I should be happy it's still plugged in, right?

It's too bad the machine wasn't designed to chime and then have audio that says "it's time to take your medication", because she's apparently at the point now where the chiming doesn't register with her what it's for. I do see in the manual that the volume can be upped (I think I have it set fairly low because she has good hearing and her apartment is small) and also the display that lights up when it's chiming can be adjusted to be brighter. I'll have to check that and see if I can set it brighter, might catch her eye more and realize that is making the noise, not her phone.

TGIF! and totally not what I had planned to blog about today, haha.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Well, of course I did!

Oh hey - guess what I found this morning? That missing credit card! Of course I found it - the replacement one came in the mail yesterday, LOL. I went to put the new one away (where I thought I had put the old one) in my desk drawer. I keep a few miscellaneous cards I don't keep in my wallet under the stamps. Can you see the card there - stuck between the edge of the drawer and the built in organizer tray? 

Yesterday morning was nice and quiet - not dealing with mom's medication. Of course she didn't even realize she didn't take them. I then called her just a couple minutes before her dispenser would remind her it's time to take her pill(s) at 6:10pm, to let her know I adjusted her schedule to now just take all her pills at the evening time, so she just does all her pills once a day now, to make things easier. She was like oh,'s ok that I take these ones in the evening and not morning? I fibbed. I told her I called her doctor and asked. I didn't, (I will double check next month) but I did look up her meds online to see if there was any problem with taking then. Not to mention none of her morning prescriptions state morning. They just say once per day. At this point, just getting them inside her every day AND at a consistent time every day is more important, I think. So, we hung up and I got the notification in the app she took the pills. Watch - my luck her brain will say "these are your morning pills, so I'm going to set these aside and take them in the morning". LOL. Watch.....I'll be there to see her this weekend, so I'll know if there are any pills not taken, because of course when morning comes she wouldn't remember to take them.

DH worked on wiring our gate for electrical yesterday. He had already had all the conduit ran underground to out there when we built the house, in case we wanted it or for when we finally got the gate. We tried solar and just not reliable enough. Won't work in the morning 75% of the time, if you need to go somewhere and then works fine all day. He's had an outdoor extension cord(s)  running from the back corner of the house across over to the fence and then down along the long fence line and plugged in to the gate controller, but that's not something we want permanent, of course. And paying some ridiculous labor for the electricians to come out and do it, isn't in the budget. So, dh worked all day getting the wiring fed through 100 or more feet of conduit. He also had the rest of the supplies he needed to get it all wired up. He came inside a couple of times and watched some how-to you tube videos. I'm not sure if he's done, but I think he got it.

While he was outside working between the garage and the side of the shop, where the electrical panel is, he had both the dog and cat outside with him. The hyper dog from down the street showed up. Dh said the cat had just been sitting at the entrance to the garage and he didn't budge when the dog came running towards him, but our dog stepped in front of the cat and wouldn't let the other dog get to the cat, LOL. Good dog! The cat rewards the dog with a good ear cleaning :)