Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Getting ready for guests

DH was out working in the shop yesterday afternoon. It has windows across the roll up doors and he just happened to look up and see the neighbor lot guy's white truck going by slowly out on the main road and then he turned into our street. Then stopped in front of our house (dh texted me right then so I went to look out an upstairs window). He kept stopping, pulling up a couple inches, stopping. Then he drove on down, past his 2 lots, and turned around and drove back and then got in front of our gate/driveway and started doing the stop/inch forward, stop/inch forward thing again. DH texts "what the hell?" I texted back maybe they are trying to get a good look at our house so they can figure out what an actual residence looks like. Obviously trying to get our attention? like we're just going to come running out of the house down the long driveway to go see them? Or why not do that at the other 2 houses? Hopefully the guy doesn't try to make a confrontation while our guests are staying here (starting tomorrow). DH will not put up with that for one second.

I'm not a realtor, nor do I pretend to be one, but seems to me if your house has been on the market 336 days and it's not selling, something is wrong. You need to make a change, if you want to sell it. The couple who owns the 2 lots next door, who's house in another state, has still not sold their home. Number one is I'd say the price is too high. Like probably $100k too high for their area. They did reduce it by $25k 2 months ago, after their pending sale fell through. I think the other issue is the yard...1.5 acres of gravel, with a tiny patch of grass, next to the front walkway to the front door. If I were looking for a home (and one in this high price range) and suddenly came upon this house for sale and saw that it had been for sale this long already, there is no way I would pay what they are asking. It's obviously too high priced. It's not a "odd" home, or a home that someone can't envision. It's all neutral colors inside and outside. Nothing that would turn people off, at all, as far as the house itself. What are people thinking when their house has been on the market so long and nothing? Both houses we sold in the past 6 years went fast, even the one we sold in town, here, where it's such a small market for selling, it sold in 2-3 weeks. Obviously they are going to have to take a (probably much) lower price in the end, anyway, so why not get it priced correctly now and get it sold now? 

I'm working up a grocery list. I was going to drive into the city tomorrow morning to stop and see mom and pick up groceries at Walmart...but I'm just for some reason so not in the mood to take 3 or more hours out of my morning tomorrow as we get ready for our friends to come, sometime in the afternoon. Mom will be fine to not see me for another 5 days. Friends are supposed to be leaving Monday and most likely will head out sometime before noon and I can run in and see my mom then. I'm just going to run into the grocery store in town and get what I need. I don't need a lot, so I can get that trip done in less than an hour. I'm going to make my "taco soup" in the crockpot tomorrow so we can have that for dinner tomorrow and maybe leftovers one of the other nights. I'm sure we'll be out to dinner or lunch a couple of the days. I think one dinner I'll make the ham and cheese sliders with the Hawaiian rolls. That should cover us the 4 dinners.

DH is mowing the yard today. Hopefully he'll have a little time to rest tomorrow before they arrive. He's been wearing himself out lately. I'm trying to get a work project done by the end of today. It's kind of a messy project, so it's taking me awhile, but I just want it done and off my work plate. Basically, I'm having to recreate some reports because we made adjustments after the fact and now I have to run revised reports, but the system won't recognize the changes after the fact, so if I put in dates to run the report for say February, it won't work now, so I am having to recreate 3 months manually. Ugh.

Off to it!

Oh! I meant to add that my new guest bedroom floor lamp arrived yesterday, 2 days early. I love it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Take that, scammer

F-ing phone scammers. I checked in on mom camera this morning and hear/see she is on the phone, obviously with some scammer. I got online with her telephone call log and they called from one number at 9:15 and apparently had been on with her almost 15 minutes by the time I turned the camera on. Somehow they got disconnected and he called right back from a different number. I heard her say a couple times "now, this is when I really need to to talk to my daughter, she handles this". then something about "30%? and when does it start?". 

Do you know what I ended up doing? haha! I have her cable/phone/tv provider's app on my phone. I reset her modem and it disconnected the call, LOL. Then I called her when it reset. She was like I was just trying to call you and told me about some guy named Paul Smith (uh huh) on the phone. She's not sure what about, something about her tv. Like dd said, she doesn't have her credit card or checks anymore, so all's that's happening is she's wasting their time, LOL. I said that's true! the guy just wasted 25 minutes talking to an old lady with Alzheimer's thinking he might have something. Plus, even if she does remember her SS#, I have her set up on LifeLock for a million dollars ID theft protection, plus I have her credit froze.And if he does call her back he'll have to start over because she won't remember she talked to him, haha!

Dh's urologist office/dr is so strange. He will tell dh the month he wants him to come back, but they are never making appt's that far out and will call to set up the appointment. We were there in June and he said he wanted him back in Sept to do another biopsy. They called last Wednesday at like 5:30pm. I was busy and couldn't get the phone. I called back Thursday and then whoever I talked to said "oh, I see he needs a biospy, I need to check his schedule and call you back". No call back. I called yesterday and explained what I was told Thursday and she was like "well, that is strange, I don't know why you would have been told that". Then she brings up dh's chart and says that the doctors notes from last visit say come back in 4 months, so now it's October, LOL. They did the same thing last time. Oh well, at least the appointment is made. 

My employer recently announced they are only doing our 401k match this year and not the profit sharing contribution. So, there basically goes half the raise I just got. This is the first, since they started doing the profit sharing piece (years ago) that they have never done it. 

Our propane is paid twice a year, but with how it works out, the payments are only about 2 months apart, so big hits close together. Last year I started putting aside money each month in one of my Capital One savings sub accounts for this. I did pretty good. Last month I just paid our summer fill up that was $600. Next month I have to pay our winter contracted amount of $1150 in full. I put the $600 on my cash back card and got $12 back. Then I transferred $600 from the propane savings account to my checking and paid the credit card. By the time this is due next month I will have $650 in my propane savings, short $500, but my "general" savings account has enough to cover the shortage, so nothing needs to be taken out of my regular monthly budget. I do need to start upping my monthly propane savings amount, though, so I am closer to what it will cost next year.

I see FedEx is delivering my new floor lamp today. It originally said not until Thursday. Once I see it, I may end up using it in my living room, haha, and putting that floor lamp upstairs instead.

Still no heavy equipment has shown up next door. I don't know if it's just coincidence (like maybe the guy he hired to haul it over here had to reschedule to a different day) or if it's because they got the letter and decided not to ....

Monday, August 29, 2022

Start of short work week

This will be a nice short 3 day workweek and then a long 5 day weekend while our friends visit. It's still super quiet here in our neighborhood. Hopefully that means the guy has been busy trying to find some new land to put his monstrosity on. Most of the land around here is completely free from covenants, go find some of that. But the handful of little subdivisions around here want to be neighborhoods, not industrial storage and business. (let alone that land would be much cheaper than riverfront property!)

I re-stained the gate and the little wood bridge yesterday. It took me a little over 2 hours. It wasn't hard, just hard on my back. I think both look much better. The gate had just sort of faded the stain some and the bridge dh had used the wrong color stain on, LOL. We had some called cedar and some called heartwood and he accidentally used the cedar, so it was a bit lighter/oranger than I had wanted it. With the weather and sprinklers hitting it, it had faded a lot. Here is a picture after I had re-stained the posts in heartwood. Much better.

Though this morning my lower back, hips and even knees are feeling it, LOL. This getting old crap is for the birds. Once I was done my back hurt and I could hardly move, so of course I went and took a nap, which helped get my back relaxed and pretty much back to "normal" aches. For dinner I heated up some microwave Hormel beef tips in gravy and mixed it in with egg noodles, mashed potatoes and jello. Our biggest dinner in quite awhile. DH has lost a few pounds too, over the past few months.

The caregiver had the new gal with her again last night and she was the one who stopped by mom's apartment this morning to make sure she was ready to go down for breakfast, but mom was already down there. Plus she was a little late at 8am, haha. Usually they are stopping by around 7:40 at the latest so she has time to get dressed and down by 8am. I checked the camera at like 7:20 and mom was already gone. I'm sure the new lady isn't recognizing everyone yet, so probably didn't know mom was already downstairs. I don't know if she's a new addition to the team, replacing the other lady, or maybe just filling in while she's on vacation? I guess I'll see. I've noticed they all carry a tablet with them. Probably for their schedule for the day, which seems smart. I'd imagine they would also use it to send/share notes with the other caregiver, about the residents they are helping.

I splurged on myself and ordered a new leather purse. It also includes a leather wallet and a make up bag. I'm not a purse gal, but the one I've been using for about 5 years now and I'm ready for a change. It was not a cheap purse, so hopefully I like it once I see it in person. Plus when I went check out, the Honey app on my computer found a coupon code that saved me another $34, so that made me even happier. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Saturday static

It was nice to have yesterday to just do what I felt like. Well, I didn't really feel like mopping the whole downstairs, haha, but I got it done. I also tried making some tapioca pudding using the monkfruit sweetener instead of sugar. Turns out fine, maybe just not quite as sweet. But, 1/3 cup of sugar is 255 calories I won't be eating over the next 2 days now, LOL.

In between mopping and baking dh thought his computer was sounding weird and "about to blow up". I took a look at it after he went out in the shop. It's not his computer, it's his external speakers. Awhile back I was doing something on his computer and realized he has the speakers knob and the volume control on his computer set at almost the highest and was kind of wondering what was up, but forgot about it. I went upstairs and spent 10 minutes getting my speakers unplugged and untangled from the mess of wires behind my monitors and tried them on his computer. They worked fine...and at normal level. The constant faint static (that's what he thought meant the computer was blowing up was) was gone. I decided to just leave my speakers plugged into his computer until a new set arrives. I could deal with no speakers a few days. I ordered the same ones from Amazon. Only $14. Then I was looking through Facebook and a video post came up and there was sound! Apparently my computer already has built in speakers! So, I quickly went to my Amazon account and was able to cancel the order.

I guess changing her top was so now on my mom's mind yesterday she changed it twice, LOL. In the morning she changed into a turquoise top and I didn't look at her camera the rest of the day until she got back from dinner.She had on a white top with a white sweater, but I could see another top was underneath the white top, just visible a bit at her collar. It was hard to tell, but it looked purple! I was like did she go put that purple top back on again and then put this white top and sweater over it?? Then the caregiver showed up for the pills. She had some new lady with her that she appeared to be training. Of course, she said hello to mom, asked her if she had a good supper and was then explaining to the other lady how mom's machine dispenses the pills. She gave mom the pills, told mom to have a good evening, mom thanked her and said "you too". Then mom went and sat back down in her recliner and said "I am so tired of this shit!". oh goodness, LOL. I was telling dd and she was like what does she have to be tired of? She doesn't have to take care of anything, haha. The caregiver was literally there only a couple of minutes. A little later she took off the white sweater (it was a top and sweater connected together) and it was a blue top under, so at least she didn't put that purple one back on. I see this morning she has on this blue top she had changed into at some point yesterday.

DH spent the rest of the day and evening out in his shop working on the side by side. He got his winch wired up and mounted. He's got it set up so it slides into a receiver hitch and he can either put it on the front or back, whichever he would want to use it at.

DD sent me a picture of the breakfast she made her and her dh.  Avocado on whole grain toast, an egg fried in grass fed butter, and a bowl of yogurt with granola, blueberries and blackberries on top. Looked healthy and delicious. I've never liked avocado, but it's been a really long time since I tried it, so I'll have to give it a try again. Maybe my tastes changed. I always hated yogurt and then about 10 years ago tried some and it was good.

I think today I will be re-staining our wood gate and the little bridge out in the front yard. It only going to be 77 out today, so it will be perfect outside. 

One of my friends just had some major surgery and will have to take it easy for 6 weeks or so and had asked on Facebook for tv show/movies recommendations. I read the comments as I'm looking for something new to watch, so decided to try "The 100" I had never heard of it, but apparently a network show that ran for 7 seasons. It took me like 3 tries to get through the first episode as I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but it got better and now I'm about halfway through season 1.

Still all quiet next door at the proposed warehouse property....

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Cool Saturday

I'm going to enjoy 74 degrees today, LOL.

DH has got the plow all wired to the side by side and showed me how it works. Pretty nifty. He will be plowing snow like a champ this winter. He had to do his lawn mowing in 2 sessions yesterday as it started raining halfway through, so he didn't get to finish the other half until around 4:30. Then FedEx dropped off another one of his orders and after mowing he went back out in the shop to work on that some more. I don't even know what it is he got today - I think some sort of wiring/cables for the winch he wants to add to it. It sounds like FeEx will be delivering the winch he bought today. He had done some research and bought a winch from Harbor Freight that is supposed to be really good, but much cheaper than other winches. 

I got a text yesterday from the wife of our Texas friends coming to visit later next week. She wants to go to antique stores (or if there might be another flea market in the area, like last time). I said that antique stores is exactly what I was thinking too! I've been wanting to go back to that big 4 story antique mall in the city, where I got the church pew and china hutch. I told her I had looked online but didn't find any flea markets. I want to get an old washboard to hang on the wall in my laundry room. I also want to look for an old library card catalog cabinet.

Still no update on the covenants letter. No new is good news, I guess. Still no equipment dropped off to start site work. Mr. did say he stopped at the local state DOT office and gave the head guy there a copy of our letter and covenants/short plat. He told Mr that this subdivision was approved for a single entrance/exit only. The only thing the guy could do, and this might not even be granted and would take forever, is to improve our street in width, strength and make the corner easier if west bound traffic wanted to turn by the mailboxes.

Well, yesterday morning I realized that my mom had been wearing the same outfit all week. She only wears jeans (has like 5 pair of the same, so that is hard to tell if she's changing, but unlikely) but almost always changes her tops daily. I went back and looked through the camera clips and since Monday she has worn the same purple top. I was trying to decide how to bring this up to her. She's still with it enough if I say "you've been wearing the same top all week" to say "how do you know that?" Then last evening, when the assistant caregiver gal came to her apartment with her as she was coming back from dinner, I heard her mention it to mom! I was like oh good! and impressed that they are paying attention to that kind of stuff too! But, of course mom forgot all about it and I see on the camera this morning she's wearing it again. UGH! So, I called her just now and mentioned it and suggested she had a few hours before lunch, so may be a good time to get in the shower and some fresh clothes. She said ok....hung up and I looked on the camera - she went right back to sitting in her recliner and looking at her activity calendar.....then about 10 minutes later she did get up and go back into her bathroom for about 13 minutes. I highly doubt she was able to shower in that time, but she did come out and put on different/clean clothes, at least.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Still quiet

Still nothing new on the neighbor covenant letter. If I recall, when sending something certified, the sender gets the card back that they signed for it, so they know that his has been received. So, apparently Mrs. hasn't gotten that back yet, either.

Awhile back I ordered a floor lamp from Target. I had a $50 giftcard I put towards it (I think it was $60 total). Well, it was a really cheap/poor quality lamp for a guest bedroom and I decided not to keep it and returned it to the store last weekend. So, now I have a $50 Target gift card to use again. I found a much nicer (I hope, for the price!) lamp at LampsPlus that was $229. I still have that $200 Visa gift card to use and decided to use it on that. Well, trying to use gift cards when the purchase price is higher, for online purchases, usually doesn't work, so I googled the lamp and found it on Amazon for the same price. So, I used the gift card and purchased a $200 Amazon giftcard and then purchased the lamp through Amazon. It's supposed to be here next Thursday.

I got payroll done by 9am this morning, for a nice change of pace, haha. Especially nice for a Friday, too.

I'm down 7 pounds now, so almost to the 10 pounds (at least) I wanted to lose. I'm still trying to work towards these foods that are healthy and healthy for the brain. DD has just finished to book I read (twice now), as well, and she is implementing some of it to her diet, too. She found a vanilla flavored yogurt while shopping the other day, so I'm going to see if Walmart carries it when I put in my next order. It only has 2 g of sugar and she thought it tasted pretty good. If nothing else, maybe I can add a bit of monkfruit to it for some added sweetness.

Dh is out mowing and the clouds came in and it has started raining again. He'll probably have to come in and take a lunch break until it blows over and the sun comes out to dry stuff again.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Cloudy with a chance of your guess is as good as mine

It was really nice to have a quiet day yesterday after the busyness of Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The weather actually only stayed at 78 degrees and we had a cloudy, windy day. Kinda nice for a change. Though the past few days I have had a bit of a sinus headache. I hate those. Advil and Tylenol don't work on me with those and the stuff in sinus medications can make my heart arrhythmia act up.  I did take just one sudafed type pill and that helped a little.

Dh feels like when the couple gets our neighborhood signed letter about their building plans, he's going to direct his anger at dh, since we're the immediate next door neighbors and the one he has talked to the most. But, I told him just smile and shrug your shoulders and say "ya, well, you pissed my wife off and then she told the other neighbors and they got even more mad than her about it, so..." At least when Mr. listed all our names and lot#'s after our names, he went in numerical order, so our names aren't first, LOL. I like how Mr. ended the letter: Thank you for understanding our solid position and concern before any further planning on your end is decided upon, and to save further action.".  Then below our signatures is cc: our county Planning and Compliance and Environmental Health, County Attorney's Office, and County Clerk and Recorder. And since Mrs had to send it certified mail, I don't know if she was required to put a return (theirs?) address on it to send it. If it was me I would have just put our subdivision name and street name for the address it came from.

We still have our friends from Texas coming next Thurs through Monday (Labor Day). I'm hoping this coming weekend and early week is no drama, so I can get rested up for their visit and not be stressed out.

We had a pretty good thunder and lightning storm last night just before midnight and it's cloudy and cooler today. DH will probably have to mow again today, as Saturday was the last time he did it.

I just tried to log into my side job and can't open the accounting program, it says the company file is not found. Oh joy. So, I have put in an email to their IT help desk and hopefully it won't be too long before they call, though it isn't even 7am over there yet, so I'm sure it will be at least an hour.

Will today be the day the earth moving equipment is delivered next door?

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

All quiet on the western front

No neighbor update/news yet. We keep expecting to see, sometime this week, his construction machines delivered. My guess is it would be today or tomorrow, since they said 10 days last Monday. Our guess, is once he finds out and is mad, he's going to take a group of trees down just out of spite. I can't even remember how it came up, but the very first time we talked with them (like last October), when they told us they were buying the lots, the guy was trying to be all friendly. DH didn't bring it up at all, but the guy said something or asked something and dh said well, my only hope is that you leave this group of trees out here. There is a nice group of fully grown fir and pine trees on their property, out front, next to the street, kind of filling up that corner of their property. He was like "oh, of course". So, I'm sure those will be coming down now, ha!

We get to be down to 85 degrees today and low 80's the next few days. Yay! LOL. I am not much of a really hot weather person. 

About once a week, whichever caregiver is doing the after dinner visit, they sometimes don't make it before 6:30, so mom's medicine dispenser will chime at 6:30 that it's time to dispense the pills. The odd part is that before I hired them, almost every single night it would chime and mom would think it was the telephone ringing and call me to see if I called. Then they have been coming for 2 months now and there have only been a handful of times they didn't get there before the chiming went off...and each time mom now knew it was the dispenser and not her phone! But, last night they didn't show up and she did think it was her phone. So strange how the brain just goes back and forth with sometimes knowing and sometimes not. It's been 2 months now and still no billing from the caregiver. A month ago I already asked her about the billing and she said she hadn't done her billing for the month yet. I asked how she sends it, email? and she said yes, she can email it, so I texted her my email address. And now another month of service and no billing. How does she pay her assistant if she doesn't do billing regularly? LOL. I don't know if I should ask again or what. It's the accountant in me that likes regular bills and to get things paid, haha. I don't like bills and unknown amounts just hanging over my head. I guess I'll wait until after the first of September and if she still hasn't sent anything I'll ask again.

Dh has thanked me several times for sending the email to the neighbors and getting everyone together to fight this covenant issue. We are both impressed (and a bit surprised) how quickly and how much the other neighbors stepped up. Honestly, it seems like they were more upset by the prospect of what he wants to build there than we were. Mr talked with the county attorney again yesterday and he said he will do everything he can to help us with this. What that probably actually means is that he will get on the other county employees/depts, who may end up involved, to make sure they just aren't ignoring dealing with the problem....which is what they all do, as much as they can get away with. None of these county employees/commissioners do much of anything at all, unless it directly affects them, a relative, or a good friend. Shoot - our elected sheriff is only required to work like one day a month! Ya, that really gets things resolved (rolling eyes).

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

First step done

Mr. Neighbor and our young neighbor lady wasted no time yesterday getting started on this. Mr. went into the county to show the county attorney our covenants and get his advice, while young neighbor got a hold of someone from the state DOT to find out if and how someone could add another access to our private road off the state road. Both got their info about the same time, so early afternoon we all met over at Mr and Mrs. Neighbors table and shared information. While Mr. was waiting for the county attorney to get out of a meeting he went over to the land planner guy (it's all in same building, small town, LOL) and asked him what he thought. He said he thinks we need to form an HOA. Mr. texted me this info and I did a quick google search on what is involved, because none of us have ever lived in an HOA before. What a pain in the butt. Eventually we will need to probably do this, and definitely if the guy tries to fight us, but I said to Mr. why can't we just write a letter ourselves, signed by all of us, telling him he would be violating the written (and count approved/recorded) covenants with his proposed build and land use. 

At the same time Mr. was texting me he got good advice, young neighbor was texting me she heard back from the state DOT guy. We decided to all meet at Mr&Mrs shortly after. The county attorney said to do the same thing I suggested. Write a nicely worded letter to the couple. along with a copy of the covenants and we all sign it and someone hand deliver it. The state DOT guy said in order to add a new access from the state hwy the guy would need to apply first and from the sounds of it it wouldn't likely get approved, but he would need that approved first. He just can't add it. She asked what if the guy just decides to put it in himself anyway? He would be fined. 

Mr. agreed to write the letter (he writes part time as a profession, so he seemed the logical choice) and sent it to us to review and it was great. They printed off copies and we went over after dinner and added our signatures. I called the out of state guy who owns lot 6 and it has worked out perfect. They are actually over here visiting his wife's father, they came over to Mr&Mrs house at 10 this morning to sign. We went over there, as I wanted to meet them (only dh had met them before) and we also got our signed copy to keep.

Mrs offered to go try to deliver the letter to them, in person, at their house in town and also drop the copies off at each county department. Very good of her to take that on. I sure didn't want to go knock on their door and hand it to them, but she hopped in her car and off she went. She emailed after she got back that they were not there at that house, so she went to the post office and got it done certified mail. They have a PO Box at the post office, so the lady who runs out post office said she would put it right in their box. Mrs said they are also contacting the local state DOT office to let them know the owners in our subdivision do not approve of a new access road being added, if he tries to do that. So now we wait and see what their reaction will be once they get the certified letter.

A couple of other things that aren't directly related to covenants, but in all of us talking to each other, are kind of giving us an idea of what this guy is really like, and that he's probably not going to react well to any of this. Mr. said the guy called him last week....wanted to know if he knew who he would contact to bid on a county road construction job....why he would call him to ask that? weird (he doesn't work in that field at all). But we all came to the conclusion we think he did it to see if Mr. would say anything about him not being able to run a business from this property....we think he was trying to feel Mr out or  see if it was just dh who brings up the covenants to him that say you can't.

When we were all at Mr&Mrs little get together back in early June, there was a comment the guy made that rubbed dh wrong. He was talking about their out of state house (which is where they live 90% of the time the past 11 years) and one of their neighbors. I didn't catch the whole story, but something about the neighbor guy (who he didn't like because he had a Biden sign in his window) was complaining about him, so later, he grabbed a shovel full of dusty dirt (because that's all their "yard" is) and threw it over onto the guys house/yard or something like that. He was all proud of it, but you could tell his wife was embarrassed. Then during this conversation last Monday dh had with him and his wife out at their truck, the guy kind of let slip that he had problems with the HOA there....well, no kidding (was dh's thought)- you live in a really nice HOA neighborhood of 1 to 1 1/2 acre lots of really nice homes that overlook a lake and your place looks so ugly! Everyone else has nice paved driveways and nice landscaping and their place is gravel driveway and just a huge gravel parking area in front, on both sides, and the back is also gravel and then just sagebrush past that. Not to mention 2 big pieces of earth moving equipment and a trailer parked there, as well as a 500 gallon fuel tank (for his equipment). In addition, based on this conversation with them last week it sure sounded like they have no intention of paving their driveway (not required to) and no intention of landscaping. The wife says "what's wrong with just leaving it all natural?" Dh just kind of shrugged and looked over at their overgrown lots and said "I guess so, but you are responsible (I think it's a state or county law) to take care of the noxious weeds (knapweed and mullein are the 2 main ones) that are mixed in it all, so it seems easier to just have some landscaping....

The other thing we just found out from Mr., that happened at their little party in early June, was they had also invited a couple (let's call the guy M) that lives about a mile from us. They pulled in the driveway at the same time as these new property owners. They did not know each other at all. The new guy drives a nice big fancy white pickup. M says "nice truck, I have one just like it". The guy says " don't". M says ya, I do,  even the same color. The guy says "well, it's not like this one". M says ya, it is. Same edition and year. The guy still has to tell him "well, it's not like my truck!". What in the heck? So, M is a pretty quiet and reserved guy, but at this party he was even more quiet than usual and I was kind of wondering what was up. Well, now we know it was because he wasn't much liking our new neighbor who bought lots 4 and 5.

I ended up emailing the zillow link to Mr&Mrs and young neighbor, of the couple's main house (out of state) that has been for sale since last October. When we talked with Mr at the fence on Sunday we mentioned it. Said while the house itself is a very nice house, the rest of his acre and a half is not at all - after living there now for 11 years. Yesterday Mr asked me to send him the link and then I also sent it to young neighbor lady. Her reply back to me was "that's some beautiful landscaping there on that place". Later, when we were all at Mr's house, she had sent her dh (who was at work) the link to their house and he happened to text her back while we were sitting there. His comment was "geez, even their tiny patch of lawn looks like crap". So, they were as "impressed" as we were. I reiterated that this couple have lived in that house/HOA neighborhood for 11 years and zero landscaping. The guy literally just graveled almost the whole acre and a half. Then you look at all the other homes around them. Nice beautiful (expensive, they started out asking $750k for theirs) homes with beautiful landscaping. I'm guessing that is why they are having such a hard time selling it, in what was still a very hot market almost a year ago when they listed it.

Today, with Mr&Mrs and the lot #6 owners, we also talked about what our next step will have to be, if the couple tries to fight this/proceed with their building plans. Mr. knows of a really good attorney in our county that does well with litigation type things. He is going to call him, just to kind of "reserve" (or put him on retainer is probably the better terminology) him if we may end up needing him. He thought this was a good idea to do now, so that if the couple decides to get an attorney, they don't get him. Mr. said we want him on our side, not the other guys.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Got my posse together

Well, dh and I had a really good long "fence chat" with Mr. Neighbor yesterday, about the 8000 sq. ft steel building and running of a business to be done on the 2 lots on the other side of us. He was completely 100% in agreement with us on all of it. Thank God! I told him of the email I had written to the neighborhood, but not sent yet, as I was waiting for dh to call lot#6 owners and get an email address for them. I'm guessing at some point soon we will probably all have a little community get together to discuss it all and figure out what we can do.

Mr. knows our county attorney, so he said he is going to take our covenants in to him to look over and see if he has any advice and it sounds like he will do that this week. That should be very helpful, I hope.

Dh then called the guy for lot 6 and got their email. He didn't go into what I was going to email about and then the guy said they had been by recently and saw dh's wood beams laid out and wondered what that was for, so dh explained that to him. I guess they were going to stop and say hello, but when they saw the beams that also are in front of our gate, they thought maybe we were gone for awhile, so that's why they were there. From the sounds of it, they do plan on building their home here in 3 years, when his wife can retire. They have already made arrangements and are building a small 800 sf cabin on her dad's nearby 30 acres, so they can live in that while they are building here. DH didn't tell him what I was sending the email about, he just said my wife has an email she wants to send out to all the neighbors and property owners.

Basically, in the email I told them what the guy has said his plans are for building and how I think it violates our covenants. I also told of his telling us he's going to get a dump truck (in addition to the heavy equipment he already owns) and start bidding on local jobs and that when we said "you aren't planning and running a business out of this property are you? You can't per the covenants", that he sidestepped the question and his wife said it would be alright because they would keep the equipment inside. I also told of his plan to add another access to our street, from the state hwy. In a p.s. I gave a link to the company he said was going to build the steel building and found one of the combo shop/living quarters buildings as an example, except his would be almost 3 times that size.

Awhile after we got done talking w/Mr. Neighbor I sent out the email to Mr & Mrs. Neighbor, the young couple that live on the last lot and the out of state owners of lot 6. Very shortly after the out of state owner replied to the email and was in agreement with me on the covenants. He said the reason they bought their lot was because of the covenants and it being a residential neighborhood. Then not too long later the lady on lot 7 texted me. She had known nothing of this couple's plans for lots 4 and 5. She said "we certainly don't want to live next to that monstrosity either!! What in the hell are they thinking, did they not even read the covenants?!"  We texted back and forth and I let her know Mr & Mrs, and lot 6 were in agreement, too, so we are all on the same page. She said she would also start doing some research into what we should do.

It was very nice to get the same feedback from all 3 of them and also to know that we are not going to be alone to fight this guy and his plans to ruin our neighborhood. As the 3 of us who live here all said, it's not going to be fun, that's for sure. I don't know if we should confront him in person, next time he is out here at his property, with this news, or just go directly to a letter that is either from all of us, (or possibly from an attorney that states he is representing all of us, though I'm sure at some point that will be necessary). Of course none of us wants to be the one that has to confront him directly, but I think if/when it has to come to it my dh and and also Mr. would do it. 

I have been on calls, texts and emails all morning with my neighbors about this. Everyone is taking part and helping figure this out, which is so good.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The deluge

Last evening we experienced a rain storm the likes of which we have never seen here. Just crazy amount of rain. The temperature went from 95 to 65 in about 30 minutes. Our fake creek almost became a real creek!

I sent a neighborhood text later and asked if anyone has a rain gauge and a picture of our "creek". Mr. neighbor replied back this morning with a picture from their rain gauge that it was 3 1/2 inches and said their basement got water in it for the first time ever. 

I was out in the shop yesterday afternoon helping dh for a bit, again, and went and got on the scale again (because I was probably dreaming that I lost 5 pounds LOL) and I was down another pound. Down 6 pounds so far. I don't know what finally triggered this, but I am glad. The only thing I'm doing different than the first 3-4 weeks I had increased my walking and reduced my snacking (and lost none), was I have started using the monkfruit (which I don't even use a lot of) and started taking  a different multivitamin. One that is more from a health store, rather than just generic multivitamin you buy at a drug store. 

I'm working on a letter to our current neighbors and the couple that owns lot 6 (who live out of state and haven't built yet) regarding the proposed building and use of lots 4 and 5. I haven't sent it yet. Dh said he would give the guy with lot 6 a call to get their email address for me. I want to sent it in a group email and (hopefully) if I get any responses, it can generate a conversation about it and then I'll also have it in writing what everyone thinks. Though honestly, my guess is Mr. Neighbor will write something back short and vague (he's a fence rider), the young couple will completely not even reply, and I have no clue about the couple from lot 6. I would say, if they are serious about building here in a few years, then they will be interested to know what is planned next to them.

I see from the mom camera this morning that the caregiver popped in (before mom was back from breakfast) and grabbed her dirty (and probably clean!) laundry to get it taken care of. Which is also good because it appears almost all of mom's tops were in the hamper or in the laundry basket and she's been wearing the same couple of tops the past 4 days or so. I really do need to get her a new tv remote control. While sitting at Walmart waiting I tried to call the local store of her cable company, to inquire if they had remotes for elderly, but of course just got recorded message that goes into their national phone system. Earlier last week I saw her trying to watch tv a couple times and just a pink screen. Then a few days ago she was watching tv. I turned it on yesterday and the pink screen, then the message that it was not connected to source. UGH! I can never figure it out! It was still all plugged in correctly. I tried resetting the cable box. Finally I clicked on the "all" on/off button and back on and it came on. But there was no sound or if you turned it all the way up to 100 there was a faint sound. I finally figured out how to get into the dang menu and I turned off closed captions and something else and the sound came back on. I'm sure she'll mess with it again next time she watches. I just need to get the new one this week, so it just has on/off, volume and she can just scroll through channels. 

She's just confused about things in general now. While I was sitting there trying to push buttons on her remote and get the tv working, she had her big activities calendar in her lap. Before I started with the tv she was looking at it. In big letters on the bottom corner it says August 2022. She looks at it and then her clock/calendar on the desk and you can tell she is confused. Says something about "this is probably old" I said no, it's August and today is the 20th and I pointed to the activities on the 20th (the paper looks like a big calendar). Then when I was using the remote trying to get tv working she says well, does this paper help you any? I said no....that's your activity calendar, it doesn't have anything to do with your tv and remote. It's sad.

DH is now just waiting on the hard top for the mule (which is supposed to ship this week) and new springs. He will need heavier duty springs due to the weight of the snow plow on front. Those are being shipped Tuesday, so should be here Friday. Him doing all this work himself has saved thousands over what we would have had to pay to have it all on there already. He's got his old quad/plow all cleaned up and pictures taken to list for sale in a couple weeks. He's going to try to start out asking $2500.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Delayed again

I left this morning just before 9am to go to the city and visit with mom and then pick up groceries. I also needed to stop at Target and return a floor lamp I had ordered from them online that was very poor quality and decided not to keep. I went there first and was out of there in minutes and over to my mom's about 9:50. I had just decided to wait and tell her I was coming this morning, when I saw (from camera notification) she was back from breakfast. I had thought about calling her last evening to tell her, but there's really no point, she wouldn't remember.

Her apartment was already 80 degrees and even she was sweating. I said we have to turn the a/c on and  the first time she commented "are you cold?" I said, no I'm still warm, so we're going to leave it on a little longer. Just too dang hot to sit there almost an hour and half in that heat. When I first got there I asked her if she needed anything at the store? We could take a little drive a few blocks over to Walgreens. She couldn't think of anything and we discovered she still had cookies and she also had several snacks (cookie, muffin, etc) in her fridge from the snack bar in the dining room. I said ok, I just thought you might want to get out for a bit, but she didn't seem to want to, so I didn't push it.

When I was using her bathroom I looked into her hamper. Pretty full. Then I looked in her dresser to make sure she had undies to change into - none. I'm like what the heck? She has like 20 pair - or at least enough for more than 2 weeks, that I know. So, I texted the caregiver to ask if mom was letting her do her laundry? and she said yes, weekly but mom wants to be the one to put it away. Well, while I was waiting for her to text back I went and looked in her hamper. All mixed type of clothes but on the very bottom was a complete pile of undies. I'm fairly certain she saw them in the laundry basket, thought they were dirty and threw the whole bunch Liz washed back into her hamper! I told Liz this is what I think must have happened, as this big group all underneath the misc clothes (like you'd see from changing daily) looked clean. I went ahead and put several back in her drawer and texted Liza back what I think mom did and that I guess she's going to have to be the one to make sure the clean clothes get put away, now.

I mentioned the 2 caretakers to mom and that I was texting L about the laundry to check with her. Mom did not even know who I was referring to. I said L & C, one of them comes by every evening to make sure you get your pills and weekly laundry. Still no clue. Then I said L is bald (from cancer recovery) and also has a bit of a German accent. Mom says I don't know - maybe she moved out? I said no, she just works here....

And then I got a text at 10:50 that my Walmart pick up order was delayed. So, I stayed at mom's until 11:20, still no order update. So, I left and went to Lowe's because dh had texted me he was out of some 55 gallon garbage can liners. Then I got to Walmart at 11:35. Order still not ready - I didn't get my order for another HOUR! I was so mad. I guess I'll start reserving my time slot an hour earlier than I really want it, so I can get it at the right time. Geez! I didn't get home until 1:30 - starving and had to pee really bad! Again, I didn't bring a snack or something to tide me over for lunch because I had planned on getting home by noon or 12:15.


Friday, August 19, 2022

When's dinner?

We made it to Friday! My boss has the day off, so that will be less emails and phone calls for me, haha. It was a busy week with her and I working on a project we needed to get done and we got it done around noon yesterday.

DH spent the day putting the snow plow attachment on the mule and then also putting the snowplow itself together. Just lots of nuts and bolts and washers, etc. Along with directions on what to use where, but it appears they screwed up in the bag of hardware as one of the directions called for using the 3" bolts and there were no 3" bolts. There was some 5" type of bolt (that was not on the list included in the directions) so we are guessing they put the wrong ones in. But dh has a big bolt bin and he found 2 3" he could use. It's going to move a lot of snow! He said he is going to put the old quad/plow up for sale around first of September and see if he can get $2500 for it.

On some good news, while I was out in the shop last evening helping dh a bit, I got on the scale (the only one we have) that is in his shop bathroom. I have lost 5 pounds since I last checked (at least a month or more ago), so I was really happy about that. Finally it seems my extra walking and trying to cut out snacks and sugar calories is working. 

Mom seemed a little confused yesterday. I called her after lunch. I didn't have the cameras set to detect motion on, but assumed she had gone down for lunch and was back from that when I checked and she was in her apartment about 1:15. She said something about she did something and someone was nice and left her a meal in a container outside her door, so she just put the empty container back out there but wasn't sure if that's where she was supposed to put it. I said did you go down for lunch? she wasn't sure and then I tried to see if she knew if meals were being brought to apartments again? (they do that if they are short staffed). She didn't think so. I'm guessing the "something" she did was forget to go down for lunch.

So, I watched her cameras at 4:50 to see if she was going down for dinner. I checked a couple times prior to that and she was watching Family Feud on tv for quite awhile and that was still on at 4:50. She got up because she heard talking outside her door. She opened her door a bit to see and I could hear a group of people talking - no doubt other residents from her floor waiting for the elevator so they could go down for dinner. She walks back to her recliner and as she's sitting down says to herself "I guess I should go down there". Then she doesn't. Finally a couple minutes after 5 I called her to remind her it's dinner time and she went down. Hopefully this isn't a new thing where she's starting to forget it's time for lunch and dinner. Up until now it's just been mornings she doesn't seem to remember, which I have the caregiver stopping in to make sure she does.

I need to go see her this weekend and I'm trying to decide if I want to go tomorrow or Sunday. Either day it's going to be almost 100 degrees outside, so no matter what her apartment is going to be too warm for me either day. I was hoping I'd check the weather app and maybe by Sunday it would be in the 80's haha. Part of me is tired from the busy work week and just want tomorrow to relax but then part of me hates being really busy on Sunday and then back at it Monday. I'll probably go tomorrow morning, then I'll have the rest of the weekend to rest.

Well, I guess I'd better get a grocery list started so I can put in an order to pick up this weekend. What I really need to start doing, is other than like milk and perishables, is get myself better stocked up so that I only have to do a big grocery pick up once a month and just fill in the perishables with a trip to our town grocery or just a quick stop when I'm in the city to get those.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Thursday already

Yesterday dh and I made a quick trip to the city to pick up the new snow plow attachment for the mule. Dh says it's a really nice piece of equipment. It was a quick transaction. He had already contacted the guy about a week and a half prior and gotten a quote and he said he had like 2 in stock, but would not be getting more in until next year, as the manufacturer had already sent him his allotment. He had it ready, sitting on a pallet and I was done paying before dh got out of their bathroom, haha. They loaded it on the trailer for us, dh tied it down, and back home we went. He did get part of it installed on the front of the mule yesterday. There are 2 blades and just one blade is probably the size of what he has been plowing snow with, so this new set up will make it a much quicker job. Plus, the blades will also raise up a lot higher so he'll be able to pile the snow up higher and not run out of room to put it, if we get lots of snow.

I think my first step in addressing the steel warehouse going in next door, is to send an email to the other 3 owners in this little subdivision, letting them know what the guy said he plans to build and do. It's probable that the owners on the end lot #7 don't know what he has told us this week. It's highly probable the out of state owners on lot 6 know nothing of it. But, the guy also mentioned he'd like to buy lot 6 too, so it's possible he's already contacted them to inquire if they want to sell. Part of my reasoning to include them, is who knows what they have plans to build/do and if they think they are going to do something that is not within the covenants, at least they will get a heads up now to know that they will also get pushback.

Of course my hope is they would all agree and all want to do something to protect their neighborhood and to maintain our residential lifestyle living here. I doubt it, though. But, at least they will all be aware up front where we stand. I also think the next opportunity that presents itself to talk with the guy again (it seems whenever they come to their property, she just stays in their truck) I'm just going to say, I think we should look at and discuss the covenant's and what you are planning to build. Then he will know where we stand going forward. If he plans to continue, then our next step would be to consult with a real estate attorney.

This link is the closest thing (in size and has living quarters) I could find on the website of the company he said he plans to have build this steel building with living quarters. While the one side of it does look a little bit like a house, this doesn't even come close to the size he is planning to put up. The building in this link is less than 3000 sq ft. Double the width of the building in this picture and then add another 28 feet in length. To me this does not resemble anything "residential" in character, especially almost tripling the size of what's in this link, it will not look residential. The guy tried to divert us/dh the other day by then saying "oh, I'm going to get/build a shop in town to run the business out of". I should have said "ok, then why will you need an 8000 sf steel shop building here to live in?" But dh had followed him out to his truck, where his wife was waiting, and they continued to chat and when it was again brought up about him saying he'll keep the business stuff in a shop in town, his wife was totally surprised and said "what? why?" So, again dh said you cannot operate a commercial or industrial business on these properties. And she said "even if we keep the equipment inside the shop?".

Geez Louise - we just wanted to build a nice house, in a nice residential neighborhood and have a nice quiet life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Question #2

Ok, second question, since several of you answered with what I also consider a "frame" house means, too. My understanding what a frame house means aligns with what commenter Rachel said her dad (a home builder) considers to be a frame house:  a frame house means wood construction ( 2×4s, wooden roof trusses, etc.) as the base layer, not brick, etc. Or as one commenter said: "a house constructed from a wooden skeleton, typically covered with sheathing."

Others replied it means no modular, prefab, trailers, or containers as the home. Also agreed that the way I see the covenants written, this would not allow this type of home.

Ok - so would you consider an 8000 square foot (80 x 100) steel building with living quarters inside to be a "frame or log home" and would you consider it to fall under the "rural residential in character" part of the covenants?

80x100 is HUGE! That's what the new neighbors plan to have built next year. Dh tried to talk to Mrs. Neighbor about it last evening when she was outside in her yard and he had gone out to turn off a sprinkler for our yard. Her reply was "well, how big is that?" pointing at our shop behind dh. Dh said it's 1728 square feet.....8000 square feet is over 4 1/2 times the size of this building. (and we agree - our shop is/seems big!). They have apparently decided not to care what gets put in their own neighborhood, yet a few weeks ago Mr told us he actually wrote a letter to a property owner a mile and a half from us because they don't like how he keeps his property (a property with no covenants and no county restrictions on what you do with your property)......go figure on that one, because I sure can't.

Dh and I had went into town for a soft ice cream cone and on the way back, passing our little county airport is this big steel building at the airport. I said to dh - how big is that building? He wasn't sure, so when we got home he got online with google earth where you can look at things overhead and measure with a feature they have. This building is 4400 square feet. So, the new neighbor wants to put a steel building that is almost double this size in our "rural residential" neighborhood as his heavy equipment storage and residence.

I know everyone has different opinions and interpretations as to what's acceptable, but I'm sorry, this is not it for me and the type of homes I thought our neighborhood of 7 lots was supposed to be! One of the reasons we bought this property is because it does have some covenants. While I know some steel buildings can be made to look similar to a residential home (and I'd be ok with that), this size of building at 8000 square foot building will not be able to look anything like a residential house or "keep the entire subdivsion rural residential in character". So very very disappointing. At this point I'd rather have a prefab or double wide manfg. home than something like this. At least they look like a house and not a warehouse.

And that doesn't even address the guy's plans to try to run a heavy equipment construction company out of this property..

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

What say you?

Quick genuine question: this is in our neighborhood covenants about the type of home, etc. What exactly does "frame" house mean to you? What kind of house can an owner have? Our covenants were created by the land developer. Obviously there was some reason to put something in there to describe what is allowed, but if it really means any type, what would have been the point of even putting anything in the covenants as to what type? I have a feeling its a bit vague and I'm going to get lots of different answers, which I guess will tell me the answer, HA!

All dwellings or houses must be new, limited to one per lot, be single family and have a permanent continuous perimeter foundation of concrete or concrete blocks. The dwelling or house must be frame or log construction. It is the intent to keep the entire subdivision rural residential in character.                  

Monday, August 15, 2022

Getting ready for snow

Weird- we're getting these tiny little gnat type bugs in the house, but only in dh's den. In the evenings, when he's in there on his computer, wherever they are coming from, are attracting to the light from his monitors and driving him nuts. We cannot figure out where in the world they could be coming from/how they are getting in and they aren't going to any other light sources in the house. I was sitting in the living room with the floor lamp on and no bugs around it. Mostly we just want to figure out how the heck they are getting inside the house. 

I think we'll be going into the city sometime this week to get the snow plow dh wants for the Mule. He had gotten a quote the week before last, and as with most business's these days their inventory is low/limited. This dealer has already gotten their allotment of snow plows for the year from the manufacturer and if we wait until October or November to try to buy the one he wants, we'll probably miss out on getting one for this winter. Or at least getting the one he wants. Plus it ended up being about $500 less than he thought it would be. They charge $650 for installing it, but dh will do that himself, so we won't be spending money for that.

Of course my mom had completely forgotten about whatever happened Saturday evening. I called her in the morning and she was good. I watched her a couple times on the camera and she seemed fine. After she returned from dinner, I saw her dispense her pills (she's been remember that more on her own lately), then she called me, but couldn't remember why she was calling. I knew she had just dispensed them so I commented did you take your pills? She said she has them in her hand right now and will take them when we hang up. We hung up and I got back on the camera to make sure (no caregiver had come yet) and see her set the little dispenser cup on the edge of her desk and walk off to do something else. Oh good grief! LOL. Then the caregiver showed up and I think mom started to tell was just going to take them, but thankfully she wanted to make sure herself so she walked over to the dispenser with no cup in it and didn't see the cup sitting on the other end of the desk. She said the cup is missing and turned to look for it over at mom's sink but then mom said here it is and took it from the desk, so all got taken. Then there was the announcement over the hallway loudspeaker about "Sunday movie" time and mom said what did they say? Caregiver said it's a movie, if you want to go watch you still have about 5 minutes. Mom says "oh, I never go watch those" and she says oh, you were down there last night and mom says "I was?? I don't remember. What was the movie?" and caregiver says I don't remember which one it was, I left right after it got started. Also, since caregiver is there all day yesterday to help her various clients, if something "bad" had happened with mom at the movie night on Saturday, she most likely would have heard about it, and I didn't get the impression she knew anything about it - or if she had I'm guessing she wouldn't have suggested mom go down again, haha. Mom didn't go down. Typically those movie nights on Sat and Sun aren't something she usually does.

I think I'll use my $200 gift card to buy something to put on the wall, over the new sofa, in my office. It needs something. The problem is I have no idea what I want there so it will probably take me forever and a day to figure out what to put there. But, I think it needs to be large, whatever it is.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Quiet Sunday

It's been a nice morning, being outside awhile, before it gets too hot. I added some miracle grow in water to a few of my struggling plants. DH got started with mowing. I was looking for the cat and calling him a bit, but he's out and about, LOL. He had almost 48 hours where he had to stay indoors, and he was none too happy about it all day yesterday. On Friday dh had sprayed the lawn out front with some crabgrass killer and the instructions recommended keeping pets away from it for 48 hours. Since both our neighbors tend to let their dogs loose almost every day, and since the dogs always tend to come to our yard, dh did a group text to both neighbors giving them a heads up that he sprayed our lawn, in case they want to have their dogs avoid it. Mr. Neighbor said thank you for letting them know. The other neighbor was crickets.

I wanted to order more Monkfruit sugar substitute and did a little online pricing comparisons and found the same brand half the price I paid on Amazon, so I ordered that. I also needed some more of the ointment I put in my eyes. Walgreens and RiteAid want like $30 for a tube (it's tiny!) but I found it for almost half that with another online seller.

My mom called me around 8pm last night. I had already seen on the cameras that after she took her pills at 6:20pm she went downstairs. I assumed to do the normal 6:30 Saturday activity of "movie night" down in their tv room. She doesn't do it often, but sometimes. I saw she got back about an hour later. The audio isn't the greatest and when she's talking to herself she's not talking loud enough so that mostly I just get a few words out of it all. She dropped her keys in the dish and said something about "how embarrassing". But, she didn't seem upset or anything. Then she walked over to reset her a/c temperature, so that air kicked on and I coudn't hear over that until she walked closer to her recliner and then said "I guess that's the way it goes. I'm not moving that's for sure. No way am I moving". Since I've installed the cameras I have heard her come back to her apartment and say this a couple of times before. My guess is these old people sit around and talk about if they are going to have to move into assisted living or nursing home! 

Then at 8pm she called me. She was very calm and not upset, but wanted to tell me something happened when she was watching tv (I assumed she meant when she was downstairs) and something is not going right with her brain right now. As usual, there was no way for her to remember or communicate with me what exactly happened (or she thinks happened) so it's just a jumble of different things she says that I always have to try to piece together what she may be talking. Something about the tv volume and she thought she could adjust it but no one else was doing anything. I couldn't really get any other details out of her. She just said "I don't know, it was just weird". Then I said it sounds like maybe you got a little confused while you were down there. She said she thinks so and just said "it was bad. All day was bad". Not quite sure what that means either, as I had talked to her on the phone in the morning and she was fine and whenever I checked in via camera she seemed fine. But at least whatever happened it didn't seem to make her agitated or stressed out. I suggested she get some rest and it appears she went to bed not too long after that.

Of course it upsets me and then I sit and worry about her. But, when I went to bed I had to tell myself she will wake up tomorrow and have no memory of any of this and will be fine. I just talked her and she's fine, no memory of it, of course. Hard to say what might have happened down there, but most likely someone said something to her that bothered her. I also know if it gets to the point the staff feels she's not capable of living there, they will tell me that. The one lady I talked to, just before hiring the caregiver she told me about, said my mom is doing fine and doesn't need to be in assisted living yet, if she can get the extra help like the caregiver provides. She said when they have to make the decision to tell the family they have to be moved is when they either can't get down to meals or start wondering during the night, which she said she had one now doing that and her family was going to be moving her to memory care. Probably the same one that mom's caregiver mentioned when I chatted with her before I went up to see mom, when I was there a few weeks ago. Speaking of the caregiver, I really don't understand why she hasn't billed us yet! But, I've already inquired to her about it, after it had been a month, so I guess she'll bill when she bills. Not sure how she pays her assistant if she doesn't do her billing LOL. I like to be on top of bills and it's driving me nuts, haha.

It's about time for lunch, so I need to figure out what I want to eat. 

Saturday, August 13, 2022

A nice gift and fire chat

Not much really went on yesterday, besides work. In the afternoon we had a huge weather change to clouds, thunderstorms, and rain. The electricity kept flickering and went off for a few seconds one time. My side job boss sent me a $200 Visa gift card. That was really nice surprise to receive in the mail. Every year on their company anniversary they have a party for their employees/the day off and give them something, so she sent me the gift card. I'm not sure what I'll spend it on, but I'm sure something will come up. 

Let's chat fireworks and fire for a few minutes. It's no secret I don't like fireworks. I don't much enjoy listening to them, especially for pets, but they are to be expected on July 4th....within reasonable limitations. I complained about the neighbors fireworks last summer. My only comment on my blog this summer on 4th of July was it was pretty quiet and we heard some for a little bit off in the distance when it got dark.

But for the prior summer, let's discuss those limitations

1. We live pretty much smack dab in the middle of a national forest. A Forest - as in flammable trees, underbrush and grasses everywhere surrounding us. We don't live in a city, we don't even live in a town.

2. Just our 2 acre piece of property has at least 100 trees on it (I lost count trying to count). The majority of these are full grown pine or fir trees. That's just our 2 acres. We're surrounded by trees.

3. We don't live where you can call 911 and the fire truck will be here within a few minutes. At a minimum they are 20 minutes. The average time they have told us it takes to get out to a fire in our area is 30 minutes. We live where the nearest volunteer fire department is 10 miles away. We are under no illusions that they will be able to be here in time to put out a fire. The other reality of our all volunteer fire dept is that many of the volunteers work outside of our county (so few jobs here), so those volunteers are not here to respond to a fire during normal work hours. Yes, of course there are some that will be able to respond during weekday work hours, but it's not a full group and it's mostly the older retired guys. A rural volunteer fire dept is not the same thing as taxpayer funded city/town fire departments.

4. July is in the middle of fire season. Last summer it was already a "high" fire danger situation by July. Nearly 1 million acres burned in our state in the summer of 2021, in about 50 separate fires.

5. Mr. Neighbor is an idiot when it comes to fire safety. He's already proven that prior by burning half the grass on his first lot by accident. I left to go see my mom one morning, come back a few hours later and pull into our street and see their lot #1 half black. I was like what in the world?! Go inside the shop to ask dh and he said, ya apparently Mr's little burn brush pile got away from him and he burned half his lot. Also not sure why he always burns on the windiest days, but yet he does.

6. It was not July 4th, it was July 2nd when they lit off all their fireworks (because that was more convenient for their schedule, so we got to listen to them on "their" day and then the normal fireworks on the actual 4th others set off you can hear in the distance) the middle of a forest, in the middle of fire season. No one should be stupid enough to think it's ok to let off any fireworks in the middle of a forest in the middle of fire season, but yet, they do.

So ya, we were none to happy about any of it. The potential of stray sparks catching grass, trees and structures on fire is nothing to mess around with when you live where we do. It's the reason our homeowners insurance is so high. It's the reason some insurance companies wouldn't even quote me. Neighbors may want to take a risk like that, we do not. Even if we did want to light off fireworks here at our home, dh would err on the side of caution and just not do it. After all, it's not just us to think about and put in danger.

Not having to deal with any of that, right next door, this past July 4th was a huge relief to us. If we want to go see fireworks we can go to the city to watch their display or go out to a neighboring town park, where they do it safely.

This was the view, standing on the edge of our property in summer of 2017, while earlier that same day we had stood outside talking to state forest officials who were assessing and trying to figure out how they were going to keep that fire from getting to our property and the homes (we didn't have our home yet, but neighbors did) along this road. We just happened to be driving by and saw them parked at our property, so we stopped to talk to them. Those "white" things in the front of this picture, that night, where we were standing...ashes and sparks from the fire, with the potential to still be hot enough to catch something else on fire according to the fire guys we talked to. That's what they were worried about.

So, I could really give a crap less about someone's opinion that I'm selfish and petty because I complain about fireworks. Or maybe educate me on why I'm thinking wrong for the area I live in. My first obligation is to my own home and family and then to that of my neighbors and we would never do anything to risk putting them in danger. Ever. Having fun doesn't mean the same thing where we live compared to living in a city or a place where there's nothing much around you to catch on fire.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Carry on

Even though I'm an anti-American, non-freedom loving, constant complainer, fun buz-kill, petty and selfish, have I forgotten any? I'm sure I have, LOL. Oh ya, married to a non-manly Karen.....I am going to carry on with my blog just as I always have. Talking about this or that, whatever is happening in my life at the time, pretty much daily and pretty much just your average stuff of life. You will hear me complain, of that I have no doubt. Though you really won't often hear me talk of politics. I am what I am, but really have no desire to write much on it, let alone I see people as people first, not which party they are affiliated with. Boy, if I never talked to a liberal Democrat, I probably wouldn't have a job, LOL. I have to work with people on both sides of politics, people of other nationalities, skin color, gays, etc. I guess I'd have to stop taking care of my Democrat voting mom, too, eh?

(oh, by the way Fran/Leslie has now become Fran/Leslie/Francey - the name was changed yet again on her deleted post). I'm sure she'll be back under other names to set me straight.)

Anyhooo - We got our new side by side all licensed (on and off road). It cost $165, but it's a permanent license, so that part is good. One expense and done. It was a different lady (I think she's over the whole dept) helping us this time and she said she is retiring at the end of this year (after 23 years in the job) along with the other lady who is taking a job for an election she won, plus one quit. Yikes, that department is going to be hurting for awhile.

No idea when dh will actually be able to use the Mule and we'll get to take it out for a spin, haha! So far he's got the turn signals and brake lights installed and the heater installed (big job). Lots of wiring. The windshield washer arrived, but I"m not sure if he's got that installed yet, I think he did. He can't install the side mirrors until he's completely finished under the hood. The hood right now is pushed up and tied to the roll bar to keep it out of his way while working on it. Now he's waiting on the hard top and windshield to ship, which might be awhile. We are going to get the snow plow attachment next week from a company in the city. The place wanted $650 to install it, but he'll save the money and can do it himself. YouTube videos have been his friend in installing all this, when he gets stuck or the directions don't make sense. The cat tries to be a shop cat and keep him company, but he discovered the old recliner out there

I'm starting to get used to the Monkfruit sweetener in my coffee. I also found it much cheaper through where I am buying a supplement for dh and some daily vitamins for me. They have 1lb bags for the same price I just bought 8 oz for through Amazon. Now, if I could just get used to the heavy cream instead of the processed steps, I guess. I have been eating more eggs, fried in olive oil. Not daily, but I'll have one for lunch about every other day. I'm enjoying my one square of dark chocolate per day, that is high in beneficial flavonoids, as well as a handful of pistachios. I just keep the chocolate and the bag of pisatchios at my desk, for when I'm feeling like I need a snack. I'm trying to like blueberries, but no luck so far, LOL. Most fruit is just a texture thing for me I don't like. DD is now reading the book I read about all this (Genius Foods) and liking it and finding it really informative. They downloaded an app called Yuka, which you can scan the bar code on foods in your fridge and pantry and it scores them. Her dh kept scanning stuff in their pantry and saying "OMG" LOL. The highest score food I scanned was actually my grassfed organic milk, haha. It got an 85 out of 100. She scanned the Carnation instant breakfast we both drink - ZERO score. What the heck?! LOL. I'm like does using my 85 score milk in it even out the points?

We got a little more light rain last evening, giving me another break from watering. Mostly that relieves my back, from carrying the full watering can(s). I've been trying to be smarter and just carry one at a time, which seems to go easier on my back and the extra walking back and forth to only carry one at a time is good exercise, too. 

DH was trying to work on the gate repair and realized the other half/side of the gate got damaged too. The other side got pushed so hard the huge long lag bolts actually started to pull out. No worries, I guess. Can't blame or be mad at whoever did it - they are just out to have fun!

And while I'm at it, let's just clarify this "street" I'm so constantly complaining about. It's a private road easement. We own the property the paved "street" (it's just basically a long paved strip through all the lots) runs through. We pay taxes on it. We are responsible for maintaining it. The easement gives the owners of the lots (#4-7) on the other side of our property rights to access their property (egress/ingress). That's it. Just as Mr. & Mrs Neighbor own the first 2 lots, we have an easement to access our property by driving through their property. That's it. We don't have rights to use the street on their property for anything else. Mr & Mrs actually have zero rights to be on our property, if you wanted to come right down to it, just as we have zero rights to use the rest of the street, past our property line. They do not need to use our property to access theirs. DH only put the wood beams along the "street" on our property. He does not have the right to put them along the rest of the street, as that is not our property or right to do so.  So, when I am talking about our street, I'm not referring to some public road type of street you find in typical neighborhoods, cities and towns. This "street" runs through our property. Our yard goes right up to the street and also continues on the other side of it, which we own almost out to the main public road. Same goes for the other lots.

DD will start her final class for her masters degree next month and will be graduated with her masters Dec 1st. Gosh, that seemed to go by fast. She said the whole thing cost her $15, lol, the company paid for the rest of it. I know she's really looking forward to not having to study all the time. I think she's pretty much gotten straight A's for all the classes. She will turn 27 in a few months.

I'm happy it's Friday. This Saturday I do plan to actually get the vacuuming done, now that my back has been feeling fine.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Thursday this and that (the selfish and petty edition)

My mom called around 4:20 yesterday afternoon. I'm not even quite sure why she called or what she wanted me to do. I think she just wanted to tell me about a "trip" she was taking. Something about she's going somewhere with 5 others she "works" with tonight..I'm like you know where (I'm thinking it may be some outside activity her apartment is taking them to?).  She couldn't remember and then within one jumbled sentence something about having to pack for overnight (what?!) then no, we'll be back tonight I think, it's just this evening we're going to see something special. Then she said they asked her to go and only 7 are going and it's on the little bus her apartment has for transportation. Ok. First she said they are leaving at 5:30, then she thought it was 6:30. She said she was getting herself all worried about it and not sure why. I said  well, it's just your memory isn't too good, so you're having trouble remembering what this trip is about. Then she said she didn't even really feel that good now. I said well, if you don't feel well, you certainly don't have to go...."well, they really wanted me to go, because not very many are going and the ladies are really easy to talk to.". 

So, after we hung up I texted her caregiver to ask if she knew anything about my mom going somewhere this evening and if she's not there during her meds time I'll have to figure out something for her to take them when she's back. The caregiver texted back they are going to "music in the park". I replied ok, thank you for that clarification! I'm glad she got out for a change, plus I've read music is often great for those with dementia.

I found a show to watch. Several years ago, before we started building our house I remember watching Lost in Space on Netflix. I kept checking for season 2, but never saw one, so I figured the show never got renewed. Well, apparently it was Dec of 2019 when the 2nd season came out and the 3rd season in 2021, so now I have 2 seasons to watch. Nothing spectacular, but an ok show, haha. The nerdy part of me likes these kinds of shows.

We had a nice bit of rain yesterday afternoon, so I was able to skip my flower watering after dinner. I just watered the hanging baskets, which are under the front covered patio area. Still strange to me for it to be 85 degrees and raining, haha.

Dh has spent the past 2 days installing the heater in the Mule/side by side. This part is quite a job and he's still not finished. Mostly because twice now he has dropped a small part and then can't find it, LOL. I called our county licensing lady again to check back in with her (she never called me back from last week) and see if by chance they got the title so we can license it and she said yes, she mailed me the notification card the day before so we can come in anytime to license it now. We'll probably do that today.

Ok, so in addition to being a constant complainer, I'm also now petty and selfish. Okie dokie. Guilty as charged. I shouldn't have any problems with the overflow of fishing/rafting trucks and trailers using my property because the boat launch parking is overflowed and no where to turn around.....a mile and a half away.

If I had wanted to live right next to a boat launch I would have bought the nice, almost $1 million dollar house that was for sale when we were looking. Right on the other side of the road from the boat launch entrance. But we were like, no...we're looking for more privacy and not property right on a public road (hwy) and not right across the road from a public boat launch. So we found property a mile and a half away from the boat launch and on a private road. At first the extra fishermen and rafters, when the parking was full at the (small) boat launch would find a way to park on the shoulder of the 2 lane hwy, outside the boat launch entrance. When that got filled up they started parking in front and on the properties of the several houses across from the boat launch. Those people (selfish and petty, too, I guess) had enough and started putting up big boulders and sawhorses and no parking signs to block the parking and using their driveways to turn around. What's a truck and trailer to do? Well, keep on driving down the road looking for a spot to turn around in. Oh hey, here's a private road, private property, and a private driveway we can use! They won't care if I drive across their landscaping or drive over the culverts. They certainly have no right to complain if I think it would be even more convenient if I could just use their driveway to get turned around, so I'm just going to try to push their closed automatic gate open. Who cares if I break it?! I'm just here to get out and have a good time. How selfish and petty to complain about me.

Whatever, LOL.

Oh and speaking of the almost million dollar house across the road from the boat launch. It was for sale for several years and finally sold last August. The couple who bought it haven't even lasted a year. They put it for sale in May....for 1.3 million and have decided to move somewhere more private, apparently.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A walk around the yard

Sometimes it sure feels like half of what we plant dies. It's probably not 50%, but we sure do have a hard time getting things to stay alive. The weird one is planting 2 of something and one does great and the other dies. 

I took a walk around the yard the other morning when I was adding some Miracle Grow to a few plants.

I can't remember what this shrub is called. We planted one on each end of the patio 2 or 3 years ago. One side is doing great, the other is about half the size and not near as full.

the good side: full and lots of leaves

 The bad side - sparse leaves and smaller

My lilies - they look good and healthy but the flower buds have been like this for weeks - they will not open and bloom

On the other hand I'm having good luck with daylilies. Planted several 2 years ago and they have grown and are doing great. I have them in several areas of the yard:

These daylilies along the front fence line were just planted this summer, but so far so good. It will be nice when they get big like the one above

This forsythia is new, planted to replace an azalea that died. So far so good

The azalea on the other side of the front patio (which I missed getting a picture of) has been doing great...until the past week or so and now I'm noticing one side of it is brown. It's so frustrating! and these shrubs aren't cheap (but it's been over a year since I planted it)

This whiskey barrel planter really filled out with the petunias! You can't even see the whiskey barrel. Wish I could get hanging baskets to look like that.

I can't remember what this one is called either...barberry? something? It kind of got smashed with dh piling the walkway snow over it, but for the most part has rebounded. It doesn't seem to be liking the 100 degree days too well, but I've been giving it extra water (in addition to what is set up to auto drip from drip lines) and it's perking up a bit now.

This is called "Stairway to Heaven" and it was planted later last summer after the first plant we put in (with first pups ashes) didn't make it. It looked great all spring, had some small flowers, and early summer, but lately the top half has looked dead, yet underneath is still green and seems to be growing. This weekend I trimmed off quite a bit of the dead top part to see if that will help it any. Maybe that's what you are supposed to do? I tried to read up on care of the plant, but couldn't really find anything that said to do that.

This is the 2nd try at a liliac bush. Dh accidentally killed the first one. This one, planted late last summer, is doing well and growing and the trunk is getting big and thick. I'm hoping someday it fills up that whole area.

Just a picture of the river as I was walking into the backyard:

The birdbath dd got me for Mother's Day to replace the one that broke. Having it down here in the backyard, rather than up on our back patio really has seemed to cut down on the number of birds hitting our big windows. Though I really miss being able to look out and watch all the birds in the birdbath. They don't use this one as much, either.

That's a wrap for the tour. Almost 2 years ago we tried to plant 2 maple trees, they both died. The 3 pine/spruce type trees we planted out front are still alive, but all 3 look exactly the same small size as when we got them 3 years ago. Weird.