Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Last day of November

Over the long weekend I was able to get quite a few gifts and things we use ordered online. The Wrangler jeans dh likes to wear were on sale with Walmart for $13. I was able to get him 2 pair in the dark rinse in his size. All the other washes were sold out in his size. But saved $6 a pair over waiting to buy them later in the year, when he says he needs new jeans. 

I took a look for a few things to see if they were on sale with Amazon Cyber Monday. I was able to get dh's prostate supplement for $4 less, so I bought 3 months worth. My daily vitamins were $6 off. I needed more cat litter and Chewy had a coupon code for 30% off, which is a nice savings.

Including Thanksgiving dinner we got 3 1/2 full dinner meals out of the food. Sunday evening I gave dh the last of it and I just made myself some french toast. He also got quite a few turkey sandwiches for lunches and I got a couple sandwiches, too. I had bought a premade pumpkin pie from the store bakery. YUCK! It had the strangest flavor. It's like I've tasted the flavor before, but couldn't pin point what it was. I threw it out. Monday night we just had easy tomato soup. Last night I just ended up doing french toast for the both of us, with some sausage links. By afternoon I was feeling pretty tired from the less sleep I got Monday night (due to Mom calling and then checking the camera again an hour later). That is why there is no way I could have my mom live here, while I'm still working full time+, even though I work from home. Just that couple hours of screwed up sleep and I'm tired. Do that a few times and I get run down super fast. I know myself/limits. I need my sleep or I get run down really fast. 

I decided to order $100 Amazon gift cards for K and her assistant caregiver. Closer to Christmas I will mail them to K's business address with a note asking her to give the other caregiver one of them, since they are never there when I stop to visit mom. I don't want to just leave them at mom's apartment for them to pick up - who knows what she'd do with them.

I did manage to (finally) get mom talked into getting into her nightgown and going to bed last night, so no issues last night, she slept all night. Other than it took me almost a half hour and 2 phone calls between 8:30 and 9pm to get this accomplished. She'd hang up with me and then forget.

Today is payday, I always like payday :). Another $1000 payment to the mule loan, so still on track to have it paid off at the end of February.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The decline

It was great having yesterday off. I didn't do a whole lot but kept busy. I had zero emails from the side job so that was also a relief. I called mom a little after lunch - she thought she was staying somewhere where she golfs but wasn't sure where....maybe Oregon? I said well, I don't think you're going to get to golf much with all the snow on the ground! LOL. I told her she was born and raise in Oregon. In the evening uncle calls me that he called her and she sounded fine tonight (she wasn't). He appreciated me looking up the flight info and he thinks he'll try to wait until spring/summer and have a friend drive with him out here. I said that sounds like a good plan.

Just before midnight my phone starts buzzing and it's my mom. "Hi, I probably caught you eating dinner". No's almost midnight. You should be in bed. "oh, I'm so sorry, this clock is weird, it says 11:52". Yes, it's almost midnight now, you should go to bed. She said she would. An hour later I check my phone app and she's still up. I call her and tell her it's 1am mom, you need to go put your nightgown on and go to bed. She said ok, she would. She walked into her bedroom, turned the light off (left living room lights on) and went to bed, in her clothes. Got up around 6:40, turned the living room light out and went back to bed in her clothes. I texted K just before I know she usually gets there to let her know what went on. She said one of the other residents had just told her mom knocked on her door at 11:30 last night, so she walked her back to her apartment. Ugh. I did get a call into a larger assisted living place that has a separate memory care section and they have a 3-4 month average wait list, so I'm getting her on that and will go tour it after the holidays. That other place has a 20 person wait list (small home with like only 9 rooms) so probably why the lady hasn't returned my call. (K told me she just found out this 20 person wait list at an elder care meeting she went to last night). K said she used to work at this assisted living/memory care facility and it's pretty good - just super expensive, but unfortunately there aren't a lot of options for memory care in this area. K wants to open her own care home, but said she is a couple years out doing that. 

Then I got a call this morning from the director where mom lives, she knew I was aware, but also wanted to chat with me about it. If she starts wandering at night, she won't be able to stay there, of course.  If she does this again, she will obviously have to be moving as they can't deal with that where she lives. In the waiting time until I can find someplace available maybe I can find someone to hire to come in and stay with her in the evenings or the director suggested maybe start giving her a sleep aid in the evenings. A sleep aid would probably help, I'll bet. K is going to give me a call after she's done with her morning rounds, she said she has some ideas until we can get her moved. I'm hoping this one more of a "one off" deal with mom, as she's never done this before, but I'm sure it's just a sign of more of what is to come.

Monday, November 28, 2022

A day off

I am so glad I decided to take today off. I got the big tree up yesterday (about 5 hours) and other than a few things, the house is done. Now I can relax today and shop. SIL is done. Three gifts for DD are done. I'm getting my mom a cover for her office chair. It's just some stretch fabric that goes over the seat and back pieces. I went with pink, as she has a small antique loveseat that is pink. She often will say she thinks that chair sitting at her desk is getting worn out (it's not!) or the color is ugly, or someone changed chairs on her. But, I also have a feeling if I put the cover on, she's going to think it's not her chair.

So, uncle called her last night and he got a taste of her not knowing where she is. It was the thinking she was at a hotel and she doesn't have her car so she can't go home. Of course experiencing her doing that fo the first time will throw you for a loop and apparently it did to him. He was freaking out a bit over it. He called me back a little later, thinking he should fly over to see her...but not sure....He's almost 80, though in good health, that's still a lot for a guy who hasn't flown since the 70's. He asked me to check into flights. It's not a direct flight from where he lives, so that adds to the trip. I told him it's certainly not an emergency! He could call her tomorrow and she'll be normal, it just goes back and forth but is definitely happening more often. I also explained sundowning and that it's mostly common for her to do this in the evening. She had gone to bed at around 7pm (it keeps getting earlier) last night and he called her at 7:30, so I'm sure she was even more out of it. I'm sure when I talk to him today, he'll have calmed down. Plus trying to book a flight in the next month or so is $600-700. If he waited until Jan the price is $250-300. Plus if he does decide to come I really want him to know what to expect in terms of being able to visit/spend time with her. She really won't be able to hold a conversation and it will just be her repeating the same few questions over and over, which after about an hour or so, most people are ready to pull their hair out. Even me, who is very patient, can only take it for a little while. I cannot tell you how many times she asked me, while here at Thanksgiving, "how long have you lived here now?" Literally about every 10 minutes. I honestly told him at this point he'd be coming for himself (which is totally fine) but that she may remember him, but she definitely will forget right away that he visited. If he really wants to see her (and knowing he doesn't like to travel) I'd suggest he fly in one day, visit with her, come stay at our house for the night and visit her again the next day for a bit, if the timing worked out, before flying back home. 

I know my uncle - he's a flake and once he calms down after this call with her from last evening, he'll decide not to come, which is totally fine. I know he likes to call her in the evenings, but I'm going to suggest he try day time every so often, too. It's just harder to get a hold of her because she is gone for 3 meals and then hardly in her apartment the rest of the time due to activities and just being out in the common areas, rather than her apartment.

I'm hoping I don't have to deal too much today with the side job emails. I think I might make some peanut butter cookies and try to go over my gift lists and finish up as much as possible.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

More decorating

I could barely move by last night, my back hurt so bad. All day of decorating does that, even though I tried to pace myself and take breaks. Some of the breaks I even used the heating pad. But, thankfully just giving my back at least a few hours rest by laying down (sleep!) and I wake up fine and ready to go again. Today I get to tackle the monster tree. 

I got quite a bit done yesterday. The 2 smaller trees and stairs garland fluffed out and the 2 trees decorated. Pretty much everything else put out upstairs and down. I washed the Christmas duvet for one of the guest beds so I still need to get that put on. My entrance bear is ready for the season :)

Dh worked outside all afternoon and got the lights up on the house and shop and put up the 6 wreaths. At least he didn't freeze too bad as it was 43 degrees. It's barely going to get above freezing today and is supposed to be snowing all morning but we got nothin' so far. We were also supposed to have lots of wind last night and got nothing with that either. Today he will put the lights on the fence and if he still has time left today there is all the inflatables and manger scene to do.

It's a lot of work, but at least we'll get to enjoy it for about 6 weeks.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Let the decorating begin

Mom was pretty ok when she got up around 8am yesterday morning. A little confused at first where she was (but she knew me) and what she should/needed to do. I didn't ask her what she wanted for breakfast, from my choices, I just made her a cup of coffee, scrambled eggs and toast and gave it to her. I know if I would have asked her if she wants this or that she wouldn't know what to chose. Same with what she wanted to drink with dinner the night before. I said I have this this and this, which would you like? We got her back to her place around 11am and she seemed happy to be back "home", though from a couple of comments it appears she thought she was gone quite a while. 

Then dh and I went over to Lowe's and bought 6 live wreaths for part of our outside decorating. Then we went and picked up our grocery order and grabbed lunch at Wendy's drive thru to eat on the way home. The usual, LOL. After 2 drives in to the city, dh washed the car when we got home. I opened up the "Christmas closet" upstairs and got out the things I could carry. All the bins I had to wait for dh. So, while waiting I took a much needed little nap. I didn't sleep very good the night before, worrying if mom would get up, be confused, etc.

DH got the 3 trees out of the other closet and 2 brought downstairs. We set up the smaller dining room tree, but that's as far as I got with trees. I just did a bit here and there. Got pillow covers on, worked on the upstairs loft some. Put the stuff on the little piano and the window ledge next to it. Got out my new deer and trees and moved them to 4 different areas of the fireplace trying to figure out where I like them best. I'm sure I'll move them again today, LOL. 

This morning I've gotten the Christmas village set up. Next is start fluffing the 3 trees - that will probably take me most of the day for those, especially the huge 12 ft tree. Last year I had dd here to help, ha! I miss her :) I'm really going to be glad I took Monday off, too, I'm sure. I'm going to need the 3 whole part of yesterday.

I texted K this morning, letting her know where I put the new deodorant and powder in mom's bathroom. She said mom seemed in good spirits this morning. I said that's good to hear and told her about her sundowning and not knowing who I was Thanksgiving evening. She said ya, it's so hard. She told K she had Thanksgiving with her parents. I said it's so hard now to know what's best to do for the holidays - bring her here or just leave her there and visit. She said she thinks being with us on the holiday is good for her, just talk a lot of memories and continually remind her where she is and who we are. That sounds like good advice and will probably be easier at Christmas, now knowing more what to expect. Plus we'll keep lots of lights on in the house as it gets dark and see if that helps. Hopefully have this one more year with her here.

I think dh is starting the outside today.

Friday, November 25, 2022


I had a new experience with mom yesterday, early evening. The day went fine, as expected. Just a lot of repeating answers to the same questions over and over. We were done eating and cleaning up by around 4pm and she and I went and sat in the living room. DH was mostly in his den, but had hung out with us a little bit. By around 5pm she seemed to be getting confused who he was. She could hear the noise coming from his computer (he was watching something) and would say what is that sound? and I'd explain it was dh in his den watching his computer. She kept referring to him as "your guy" or "your guy friend". I said it's dh, my husband and she says "oh, I didn't know you are married".

I then turned the tv on to give us something to watch/do and we watched some Family Feud and then America's Got Talent, easy stuff to watch. We hadn't been talking during that and then she says to me "are you from around here?" I wasn't quite sure what she meant but after saying a couple more things I realized she did not know who I was! (along with no clue where she was, but I figured that part would happen). I said I'm One, your daughter. She said "you are? You don't look like her". Oh dear.  I kept assuring her I was (and texted dh quickly that she didn't know who I was. He had gone out to the shop for a few minutes). Finally after a couple of minutes she got back to reality, just as dh came back in. He turned a bunch of lights on in the living room as he was talking to her, which I think helped a lot. As the evening got darker I just had a floor lamp on and the tv. There was also a little bit of light coming from the kitchen.

I'm sure between the long day (she had no naps, like she usually does), being in an unfamiliar place, and then with the sundowning coming on, it was just all too much. But boy, having her not know who I was was hard! That has never happened before. We asked her if she'd like us to take her back to her place instead of waiting until the next day, but she said she was ok to stay (this was after she realized who we were). But during it, while watching tv, she didn't know where she was, how she had gotten here, and then who we were/who she was with and why.

Around 6:10 (she didn't know what time it was) she said she was ready for bed, so I took her upstairs and helped her get ready and settled in, so she was in bed by 6:35. She's been going to bed around 7:30 the past couple of weeks (per camera). I was worried to have a bad night, but she slept all night and is still in bed and it's now 7:30. She did get up sometime in the last hour or two, as the hall light to the bathroom got turned off. She normally sleeps until at least 7:30 or so, and would sleep longer but the caregivers get her up for breakfast. 

Well, I had hoped she could still do one night with us, but obviously that isn't even really an option anymore. We're just going to have to go do a visit with her at her place for Christmas. I'm sure later today or by tomorrow she's not even going to remember she was here for Thanksgiving holiday dinner. It's just us who feel guilty and feel like she should be here with us, but it's too much for her now. 

Since dd and her dh will be here for Christmas for a few days, we'll figure out something. I always do another turkey dinner Christmas day, so I can't be gone half the day and do that. We always open gifts Christmas eve night. I'm kind of thinking I do our big dinner Christmas Eve and then we do our gifts and Christmas morning we do our stockings and have breakfast. Then go in to see mom in the afternoon and when we get back home we can just have leftovers for dinner.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Turkey Day

Here we are for another Thanksgiving. I guess I am ready, LOL. We're leaving in about 30 minutes (9:30) to go get my mom so should be back around 11:15 at the latest. Then I will get the bird in the oven. I decided not to stuff it, so it will cook a little faster. Plus I prefer the stuffing that's not from the inside of the bird, LOL. 

Mom called after dinner last night and finally mentioned Thanksgiving, sort of. She just said something like so you are having dinner at your house this weekend? I said yes and then said we'll be coming to pick her up tomorrow and bring her here for dinner. She tried to ask what time and I just said I'm not sure yet. Then she wanted to pay for dinner, so I'm sure that's what I'll be hearing repeatedly when she gets here. No mom, you are not reimbursing me $25 for Thanksgiving dinner, LOL. 

K was the caregiver on duty this morning and she was kind enough to also give mom a shower this morning (usual schedule is Tues and Sat) since she knew she was coming here overnight. I texted her back thank you for everything!

The bookcase I ordered for my office came yesterday. It fits perfect in it's spot, but I just assumed bookcase shelves were sized/spaced apart to hold normal sized books! I can only put the taller hardback books on the top shelf. I'm still working on it and have a bunch of books in a bin to dig out to fill up the shelves.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Getting ready

I did end up having a phone call with the potential buyer of side job company. Actually he seemed pretty nice and it went well. He also knows many of the people I work with at my f/t job and he actually once worked there years ago, before I did. I do now recall hearing that story and I think it was shortly before I started working there. I think he is in his late 40's/early 50's (guessing because he is a younger relation to the owners of side job company). Anyway we had a good chat and he was easy to converse with. He actually already knew my name from working at my f/t company and when side job told him who their p/t bookkeeper is/to contact he said he said "wait, doesn't she work for so and so?" LOL. So, I explained to him how it came about me working for this company because my f/t company used to own this office (in another state) and we sold it to 2 employees and they asked me to do their bookkeeping p/t on the side, back in 2009. I said honestly I expected it to last a couple years and they'd hire someone f/t to work at their office, but they never did and here I still am! LOL. It's so weird how I HATE talking on the phone and will do it only when I have to, but I can totally talk and act like I'm totally fine talking on the phone, haha. But ok, I've had enough of it for today, LOL.

This morning is payroll processing and for once it went super quick. I'm glad, since this is only a half day. Part of the quickness is also because I'm not sitting waiting for hours for my boss to take a peek at the report before I submit it, since she's on vacation this week. I can look it over and submit it. I'm going to tease boss next time and say she needs to go on vacation again so I can have a quick payroll day LOL.

We had a pack of coyotes across the road yesterday, back in the trees, trying to call out neighbors dogs. Between the one coyote barking and neighbors dogs replying, it was noisy for awhile. Dh says they will have one bark like it's hurt to try to lure the dogs in. Not typical to hear them during the day, that's for sure and it wasn't the yipping of the group we typically hear occasionally at night. It was just one coyote doing this strange bark. 

I'm going to give my mom a call some time today to say hi and hope she still doesn't mention Thanksgiving LOL. Because honestly, I don't know exactly what time I will pick her up tomorrow. I'm just getting up my usual time (7am) and then getting the turkey ready and in the oven later morning and then will drive in to pick her up. Probably some time between 10:45 and 11:30. I'm really hoping I don't have to say anything and can just show up, pack her bag and we go and skip the 8 phone calls that morning every 5 minutes. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Billing error and a little breather

I received a bill in the mail for lab services, for the full amount of $95. The statement note says my insurance denied payment saying I wasn't eligible or could not be identified. Annoying. I was trying to call in this morning to see what they have for my insurance because my insurance online doesn't show they received/processed/denied the claim. While I was on hold their recording said I could do things with their online portal, like update insurance info, so I hung up and found online where I could enter my insurance info. And a spot to type in a note, so I typed a note to rebill for the claim. Hopefully that will now get taken care of.

The temp is warming up and supposed to be dry and 40 on Thanksgiving day, so I should have an easy drive in to pick up my mom. When I take her back on Friday I'm going to pick up a grocery order - or at least that's the plan. As long as I remember to put the order in, LOL. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with work this week. Between my boss being on vacation and taking on some of her emails and then all this extra explaining I'm having to do for the side I have to do payroll Wednesday. 

Sometimes you just gotta shake your head in wonder. I'm posting an invoice to pay for work - it's an old vendor we haven't used in a very long time, so I always check to make sure their mailing address is up to date. Different address - only on their invoice now they only list the first line of the address, no city, state, zip code. How do they expect someone to mail them payment with no complete address? 

So far so good this morning - no more emails on the side job stuff (knock on wood!). Depending on what time UPS shows up, dh will be putting the new snow tires either this afternoon or tomorrow. Apparently to jack up this car you have to use some special pads on the jack stand and those are arriving today. I don't think it will take him too long to change the tires. The new tires are already mounted on new wheels, so should just be quick change.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Starting out the short work week busy

I can tell already I am going to be glad this is a short work week. After waiting for that call Friday for the guy that may be purchasing side job's business, he then sent an email Friday evening with his questions. I answered him this morning via email and also said I'm available for a call today and tomorrow, this week. He then emailed back (this is cc'd side job boss and her dh/the owner) a few more questions. I basically had to answer, no I do not do that function. With my limited hours (at first I said "very limited", but then I thought that sounded snarky) available to X company each month I am only able to do this, along with...and listed the other things I do, which is enter all their financial transactions in Quickbooks, reconcile the monthly bank statements (they have 6 bank accounts! ridiculous!), submit payroll and process monthly expense reports/payments. I work for this company about 25 hours a month (5-6 hours a week). That is all I have time to do for them and that is pushing it. The stupid part is, regardless, you can see what their monthly cash flow is and it's obvious they are making money each year. They also do not have need for a line of credit, which a lot of business's use to operate. 

I'm also sure my side job boss is probably a bit overwhelmed with it all and his questions. Really, she is not at all qualified for the position they put her in, LOL. I love her, but she has zero accounting background and from what I can tell, just muddles along with it all, from the position her dh put in her to manage. Not my problem, so I've never much worried about it. I do my hours for them and what they are paying me to do. Mostly she just does the payables and that is it as far as I can tell. I know she's ready to hand this job/company over, LOL, and ready to retire. (they are early 60's). She would much rather be doing gardening and such. I think her dh putting her in her position was mostly just to give her (them) another salary from the company with a good title to justify the salary. She started out years ago just p/t doing clerical stuff. I'm pretty sure she's still really part time and I don't think she's at the office much.

Well, so far the guy has just been emailing me his questions. I'm not sure why this stuff is important to him, as once he takes over he has his own accounting staff and their processes to record it all, which is probably a bit different. I mean once he takes it over, he's going to do it his way anyway, so how the company does it now doesn't really matter in overall picture. Regardless, the financial numbers are what they are, LOL.

I finally seemed to have gotten my one and only morning cup of coffee down to a somewhat less sugared/additives version that tastes good to me. I'm using the monkfruit instead of sugar and am liking the O Organics vanilla creamer I tried from Albertson's. It's 5 grams of sugar and just organic milk and cream with vanilla vs the creamer I used to buy which had vegetable oil and other additives.  I'm still always having my morning breakfast of Carnation instant breakfast but I have switched to the lower sugar version, so that helps, too.

Well, it's already after noon now and I'm still trying to get this post finished, so it appears this is all I'm going to have time for today. 



Sunday, November 20, 2022

Simple Sunday

It's been a relaxing Sunday. I got the "brownie/peanut butter cookie" brownies made. Pretty good tasting, but them seem kind of crumbly. Dh took his drone out again and got brave to go with it over the river. One of his views was looking straight down at the river - who knew it was so clear you can see the bottom?! He got some neat videos and pictures - while almost freezing his fingers off, LOL.

Kitty wants to go outside during, and we let him, but he's smart enough to come back in about 5 minutes. It's just too cold.

I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week. I did get my frozen turkey into the fridge. Gee, it only took me this many years to finally get smart with it! First couple of years with the turkey I just set it on the fridge shelf to thaw...well it still leaks out the bag (how's that?). Then I'm like "ok, I'm going to be smarter" and set it on like a baking sheet with a low side around it. Sure, that works to catch the drips. Until you try to pull at 13...or 18 pound turkey out of the fridge and of course the juice all spills out over the sides onto the shelves. What a mess (and I've done this more than once, sad to say!). This year I took a tall sided baking pan and put it in that. I should be good to go now, haha.

My mom hasn't mentioned Thanksgiving yet this year. I think I'm just not going to bring it up unless she asks about it. Plan is to just show up later Thursday morning and get her (and throw a few things in her travel bag) and bring her here. That way I won't have 10 phone calls Thursday morning while I'm trying to get the turkey in the oven and things ready before I leave to go pick her up. 

Last year I just had mom sign some checks and put in Christmas cards for dd, sil, dh and me. This year I'm doing gift cards. Seems less impersonal and dd agreed. OMG. I just spent 10 minutes trying to order a physical gift card for SIL and it still won't go through. So much for getting one thing checked off my list. I guess I'll try getting Dh's gift card to Cabela's next. Well, at least that one just worked quickly. I still haven't decided what gift card to do for dd and myself yet. She said any home improvement stores for when they start building their house. Speaking of which they have pretty much narrowed down the floor plan they want. Ok, fifth try with Sportsmans Warehouse worked.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

A long day

It was after the end of my work day yesterday and I was still sitting here at my desk waiting for a call. A big ugh. It's related to my side job, that is going away at some point. They are working with the guy who wants to buy the business. I supplied the latest financial reports. Then I get a text Thursday evening from my side job boss that her dh (the company owner) is having a meeting with the potential purchaser and they might need to call me to answer some questions. ok, I said anytime tomorrow is ok. Then I get a message in the morning that it will just be the purchaser calling me later afternoon, after the meeting. Ok...Then at 4pm (3pm their time zone) I get a text that she just gave him my phone number. So, I assumed I'd be getting a call in a few minutes and almost an hour later I'm still waiting for him to call. I honestly have no idea what in the world I could contribute to what he needs to know to make a decision, LOL. He already runs a similar business, he already knows how it all works and he has their financial info now on how their business has been doing the past couple of years. It's the same business he already owns 2 offices of....he just needs to buy them out and merge their line card in with his business and probably keep on their sales people. I know absolutely nothing about their line card, customer base, projected business, etc. I just keep track of the money and record it in the right general ledger accounts. I am such a small part of their business, working on their stuff only about 5-6 hours a week.  Plus, everything I've ever heard/know of this guy is he's arrogant and thinks he's the greatest. I'm not looking forward to the call, haha. I'm really just getting to the point where I'm hoping he does buy them out soon and I can be done with this side job and take a break for awhile. Finally, a little after 5 I texted side job boss back and asked do you know if he was still planning to call today? It's after 5, for me, and I didn't want to go downstairs and get dinner started if he was still calling. She said "geez! He acted like he was calling you in a few minutes". She told me to not worry about it and she'll text him (he's actually a relative of theirs) and tell him to wait until Monday now. I was wiped out by then and was glad of that. I had started work at 7am and didn't take a break, so over 10 hours was enough for me for the day.

Very cold here this week. We're getting down to zero at night. It does look like it's going to start "warming" up tomorrow for next week. High's will be low 40's during the day. It's a sunny blue sky day today.

Not much else going on. I only have to work 2 1/2 days next week and then I'm not back to work until the next Tuesday. I need to figure out what day to start defrosting the 13 pound turkey. Sunday...Monday...probably Monday.

I'm glad it's the weekend, that's for sure.




Thursday, November 17, 2022

Fixing issues

Yesterday was a couple of work frustrations to deal with. First is a new employee who has been with us about a month now and has had 2 paychecks so far. She is hourly and not understanding how our system works. With our payroll processing we pay on the 15th and last day of each month, but I have to submit payroll 4 days prior to the payday, those 4 days are just estimated and paid at 8 hours per day. If the person (this is for hourly employees) works different than the 8 hours on those 4 estimated days, it gets adjusted on the next payroll. For example if during those 4 days of estimated 8 hours/day the employee ends up working an hour of overtime, that extra hour will get added onto their next paycheck. Since they clock in and out, the system keeps track of all their time and knows to add those extra hours to the next paycheck. I can't seem to get it through to this new employee how this works. Hopefully my screen shots and explanations (again) have helped her understand. Basically I had to prove she got paid her extra hour of OT from the first paycheck...and then explain that her OT hours from the last 4 days of her paycheck yesterday, will be on the paycheck for 11/30. Confusing, I know.

The other issue is requests by our internal people for purchase orders to buy samples from our manufacturer's. We implemented this new (and much quicker) system several months ago, but for some reason the past month or so the requests are now not including the costs of the samples. Well, I certainly need that info! We will get invoiced from the mfg., so I need to know how much. I'm not handing over a purchase order number when I don't know how much it's for. Like my boss said, that is just like handing over a blank check. I keep emailing back, saying I need the cost. Some will email it back to me, some will say "it's in the link in the email". find the cost I have to use the link, find the line item in the system it matches up with and then drill down to find the attachment, somewhere showing the cost. Sometimes it's in email form, sometimes a pdf quote, it varies. I told my boss if that is how I have to do it now, we might as well go back to the old system, because this is not streamlined anymore. Boss has assigned someone to get to the bottom of it. Someone apparently changed a setting on the new system that is not attaching the cost anymore.I see this morning that it has now been fixed.

Looks like we got some more snow last night. I can't tell how much, it's still kind of dark outside and it snowed on top of what was already there. From the what was a cleared of patio, now covered in snow again, it looks like maybe 3-4 inches. It has started snowing when I went to bed. DH came to bed an hour or two early for him, it was like 11pm, and it was still snowing. I think he decided to go to bed earlier so he could get up earlier than he usually does to plow. Ya...he's still in bed, LOL. The snow isn't going anywhere, LOL.

Dh chatted with his buddy the other night - the one who's wife sent the gingerbread house "contest". Dh is like you know I'm going to be cheating right?....friend: well, ya, of course we are! They then proceeded to figure out how to bend the rules his wife listed. "Ok, it says you can only use the provided materials for the house itself. It doesn't say anything about the property it's going to sit on" LOL. Last night I showed dh some little toy woodland animals you could order on Amazon but they won't be here until next Mon or Tues. Dh said they tentatively planned on doing it Sunday, but dh says he's going to push the build date out, claiming construction delays ;)

My uncle keeps trying to call my mom when she's not back up from dinner yet and I keep telling him he needs to call after 6:30 our time (his time zone is an hour earlier). Then he'll text me that he's been trying to call her for a few days and she doesn't answer. She typically doesn't arrive back up in her apartment until 6:10-6:15. Usually the caregiver comes at the same time, so that takes a couple minutes. Then she heads straight for the bathroom, which takes her about 10 minutes, so she's not back out in her living room to answer the phone until 6:30. I also let him know about her recent/new confusion about where she lives. She did put on different clothes this morning, so that is a good thing.

Dh got an email yesterday that our snow tires and wheels shipped out. Yay. They will come already mounted on the wheels, so dh will just be able to put them on himself. He has the tools and air compressor to do it.  

Ok, dh is up and just got the shoveling part (patios) done. He said we got 5 inches. He grabbed his egg sandwich from the counter and proclaimed he can now eat his egg sandwich while plowing, where he couldn't do that with the quad, LOL. Plus he likes that it has a heater.

We started getting the town/county newspaper (it's a weekly paper). It sounds like this year the main street through town (which includes the bridge over the river) will be all lit up with Christmas lights and decor. There was an article about it. And the business's along the street agreed to put up decor and lights. Sounds like it will be really cute and festive. I'm looking forward to going in to see it next month. Our "retired" friend who always stops by, is doing his snow plow job for the state again this winter. He stopped by the other day for a visit and he was trying to find a picture on his phone to show us and then also realized he had a couple of pictures of our house all lit up last Christmas, that one of the other snow plow guys texted him. LOL. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Just this and that

Dh ordered our winter tires and wheels like a month or more ago. The guy had said it would probably be 2-3 weeks before they would be shipped. Still nothing and nothing charged to the credit card # he gave the guy. Dh called to check on the order today and unfortunately the tires dh wanted/needed are still on backorder and the guy said maybe early December, but not promising. Dh asked about another good tire brand and he said those one's were out until at least January. Then the guys said, if I may make a suggestion, there is a really good brand of winter tire that is made in the Netherlands. He said he was there for testing of the tires and they outperformed the 2 well known brands here in the states. Plus they are cheaper, because they aren't a well known brand name. He told dh he would not be unhappy with these tires, so dh said go ahead. He has them in stock and will get them mounted up on the new wheels and we should have them next week. I've had the money for these tires set aside from the money from the sale of our old quad/plow. Plus charging the wheels and tires on our credit card will be $40 cash back earned to credit the card back.

I had taken a loan for half the cost of the Mule/snow plow we purchased last summer. Starting last paycheck I started putting an extra $1000 (per paycheck, so twice a month) towards the loan. I should have it paid in full by the end of February. Much better than the 66 months term, LOL. Then I'm going to start hitting our car payment hard.

On my "to to list" today is to try to call that memory care home, again, to see about getting mom on the waiting list. I'm also going to call a credit union, she still has money in. She has a small savings balance and a $25,000 CD. The CD is at 1.85% interest and doesn't mature until next April. I was going to wait until then to get this all closed out and the money transferred to her bank over here. But, I have been looking into moving her extra money into a higher paying online money market account, that is currently paying 3.83% with a $5000 min balance. I want to find out 1) what they need from me to get her accounts closed, since I'm DPOA, and 2) what the penalty is if I close out this CD a few months early. I may find that what she could be earning in interest in the Money Market outweighs the early withdrawal penalty.

A little history with this credit union. It was initially just a small employee credit union where my parents worked when I was growing up. After my mom married my step dad, she took a job with the credit union (instead of the main company) and worked there for probably 10 years, until my dad got a transfer/promotion to another area of the state and when they moved, she stopped working altogether. Eventually this CU grew and is now a "cooperative" credit union that anyone can join and they have several branches in their area. When my mom worked there, there was only the cu office in the main company building and 3 ladies worked there, LOL. 

My email worked fine again this morning. Whew. Not going to lie - I was keeping my fingers crossed, when I logged into work this morning, that is would still work. Another thing I noticed yesterday, and not sure if it's related or not, but I did not lose my work connection one time. Typically this happens several times a day. My work desktop will freeze up and disconnect me. It always lets me sign right back in, but it does usually happen at least a couple times a day. I know it's not something on my end causing it, because it never happens when I'm logged into my other job. 

What a difference between K and the other caregiver that works for her. When K comes in to wake her up in the mornings, she stays a few minutes, (showers on Sat and Tues) and puts her yesterday's clothes in the hamper and gets her out clean clothes to wear. The other caregiver, C, just pops in and says "breakfast is in 20 minutes" and leaves. So, of course, mom has on today the same clothes she wore yesterday. I'm glad K is there 4 days a week and C is only 3. I'm not going to worry much about her wearing the same thing a couple days a week - before the caregivers, she was wearing the same thing several days in a row. I think if mom brings up owning/selling her apartment again I'm just going to try to go along with it "oh, ya, oh, ok type of replies". If she says "do you think I should sell it?" I'll just try to say something like "I'll look into that" because the next day she won't remember. If she persists on the selling I'll have to say something like, if you sell then you have to move and that's just too much work for all of us right now, and see if that gets her off the idea.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Somd good, some not so good

It's starting off a better morning than the past week +. My email is finally working again and the other company we use for expense reporting to sync into our accounting program, has finally resolved their issue and all is working again. Yay! Let's hope my email stays working.....

Mom's confusion with where she lives is continuing. So, about 2 years ago now, I guess (?) she sorta got this "boyfriend" where she lives. Then over the course of the next year she would tell me "oh he called it off" then the next time she'd mention him I'd say oh I thought he called it off? and she'd say no....anyway, the past year now, she's barely mentioned him, though the caregivers told me they still visit a lot. I think mom still thinks they are "together". 

Last night K was running late. They have a client on hospice this past week, so that has taken up some extra time. She wasn't able to get there before 6:30pm when mom's med dispenser starts chiming (and light flashing) as the reminder it's time to take the meds. I saw her pick up her phone at 6:30 and say hello, but she didn't try to call me. I thought K will probably be there any minute. I'll give it to the next chiming at 6:35. Same thing, so I called mom. She first wanted to tell me that her guy friend called it off, she thinks he's with someone else new now. But she said that's ok. I said yes, that's ok, it's all good. Then she said something about she doesn't know what to do about where she's staying, she's going back to where she lives. I was like ?? She says she'll probably have to leave in 2-3 days. I asked why and something about the guy friend and it's his place? It didn't really make sense. I told her she's at her apartment and that's where she lives and then K came in and I told her I'd let her go take care of that and hung up. Then about a half hour later she calls me. Same thing. It's hard to quite get all what she is trying to convey, because she doesn't always remember the words, so it doesn't all make sense. 

But the gist of it was she thinks she owns her apartment (I think she mentioned this on Friday when I was there). I kept reminding her she rents it. Then she'd say oh ok, yes you told me that. And then 30 seconds later she was saying she owned it. I finally decided ok, just go along with that she owns her apartment, no big deal. Then she says she probably should sell it then. OMG! So, I had to go back to no, you don't own this apartment, you rent it monthly. Then she asks how much that costs and I tell her around $3000 a month. "well, maybe I just need to find somewhere cheaper". I told her no, there isn't anywhere cheaper, everywhere else cost $5000 a month. We hang up. 20 minutes later she calls again, with the same thing. "I was thinking, do you think I should sell this place? I might get a good price for it, it might be a good time to sell". I told dh, hopefully, when she wakes up tomorrow morning, it's like a reset and she forgets about this latest fixation. The poor guy friend - I wonder how many times he's had to tell her they aren't a "couple" (she even said to me last night "well, I guess I didn't want to get married, so it's ok" LOL). I'm sure she just keeps forgetting they aren't a couple and he just has to keep telling her. 

K texted me after she left mom's apartment to apologize for being late, they are still dealing with the hospice client. I said no worries. And then I added the last few nights she has seemed pretty confused where she is living and seems to think her apartment is just a hotel or someplace she's staying temporarily. She said she did notice a few evenings ago when she was walking back to her apartment with her after dinner that mom told her it wasn't her apartment :(

I just called her this morning to see how she's doing. All good. Nothing about her apartment and she seemed to know where she is. She said she was just about to go downstairs to see if anything is going on. Reset!

Monday, November 14, 2022

I hate ordering flowers

DD just got her flowers and balloons. I really hate how they never look anything like what you think you are sending. Of course she doesn't know that, and while they look ok, they don't look anything like what I ordered and what is all "listed" as in the bouquet. Though of course they have the disclaimer that the local florist may use substitutions. Plus, I really don't feel like the size of the bouquet (from dd's picture) is really the highest priced "premium" size I ordered. A bit disappointing, since they were pretty expensive.

This is what I ordered (plus 2 congratulations balloons):

and this is the specific description the website ( gave:

• Dark Pink Roses
• White Asiatic Lilies
• Lavender Stock
• Green Button Spray Chrysanthemums
• Lavender Sinuata Statice
• Sword Fern
• Huckleberry
• Cylinder Vase

This is what DD got:

Looks like 4 roses and 3 carnations with some other filler stuff, not a cylinder vase (which is one of the reasons I picked out the bouquet, I also liked that style vase). I would be ok with them substituting the white carnations for the lilies, but there still should have been like 8 roses in the bouquet, since I ordered the "premium" size. Just a bit disappointed, overall. I did sent a feedback email to their customer service. I'd hate to see what the "Regular" bouquet looked like in size.

Kind of tired of subpar quality with stuff nowadays, that's for sure. But, of course, these online flower companies don't really know what the bouquet ends up actually looking like, since it gets made by a local florist, so that's part of the reason I sent the feedback email, so they would know. Maybe I'm just cheap but that doesn't look like an $80 bouquet to me (not including the balloons cost).

Anyhow, dd loved them and that we did that to congratulate her on her master's degree, so that's what matters most.

Update: right after I posted this (and had just sent the email to the online flower company) I got a reply back from them, stating they apologize that I was disappointed and are issuing me a 30% refund to my credit card and that they notified the local florist and they apologize, too. I'm appreciate of their quick response and the 30% credit. That amount spent is more in line with what I feel this bouquet looks like.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Sunday whatnot

This is the exact kind of heating/ac unit that is in mom's apartment. As far as I know there is no way to lock it or block her from adjusting it. Obviously she needs to be able to adjust it up or down, if she's too warm or too cold, but I'd prefer she didn't turn it off completely! I'm wondering if I put a note AND maybe put some black tape across the off button, she will stop turning it off all the way.

It's always something new to figure out with her now :)

Dh's best buddy's wife mailed him a package he got yesterday. It's a box to make a gingerbread house...she's having a contest where dh and her hubby each have to make one, one their own, on the same day, only using what's in the box and no help from the wives. No cheating. Dh reads the instruction in the card and the first thing he says is "oh....there WILL be cheating involved" LOL. Within 10 minutes he had all his cheating planned out, haha. I'm not sure what day this event will happen, but I'll be sure to take pictures of the end result ;)

So, I didn't make cookies yesterday, but it will happen today. First I want to get some flowers ordered to be sent to dd to congratulate her master's degree. I was trying to think of a gift to get her, but with birthday and Christmas soon and gifts given/to be given, I decided I'll order a bouquet of flowers to be delivered. 

One other Christmas thing I've wanted for a long time is Christmas bedding for our king sized bed. I ordered a duvet cover years ago, from an ebay seller, but didn't realize the shipper was in the UK and apparently their king sized isn't the same as US king sized? whatever, it was too small, so I ended up using it on one of the queen sized guest beds. I think I'm just going to find an inexpensive Christmas quilt I can lay on top of my current duvet cover and call it good during the holiday season. I don't want to spend a ton of money and I see some on Amazon under $30.

I see the movie "Where the Crawdads Sing" is now on Netflix, so I definitely want to watch that. I read the book and dd also read and saw the movie in theater and said it was a good one.

Has anyone ever ordered flowers delivered from Amazon? I didn't realize they offered that.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Trying to help the confusion

Well, now apparently my mom's new "thing" is to turn her heat off completely when she leaves her apartment or goes to bed. It's too cold outside now to be doing that. I'm not sure how I'm going to get her to understand she just needs to turn the temperature down some, if she wants, not turn the whole thing off. On the camera this morning I heard K say, when she came into her apartment, it's cold in here, you have your heat turned off. Maybe a note taped to her heating unit. It's like one of those heat/ac type units that you find in hotel rooms. Next visit I'll get a note set up for it and see if that works.

Last night she was confused - about where she lives, which I'm starting to notice her doing this more often now. I think she thinks she's in a hotel. The assist. caregiver was late getting there to give out her meds, so at 6:30 her med dispenser will start chiming (every 5 minutes) and she thinks it's the phone ringing. She called me to see if I just called and I missed the call so she left a voicemail. She was totally calm, saying she thought maybe I just called and maybe she'll try calling me back in the morning....and then says "I'm in a...oh gosh, what do you call it...well it's an actual room with a bed and all that, but it's usually in where there's business's and stuff and you can stay here, which I'll be staying here". I called her back about 5 min later (and got her to take her meds) and again she mentioned she was in an apartment...well, it's weird, I don't know how to explain it. well I guess it's my apartment... and I told her again, yes that is her apartment where she has lived for 2 1/2 years. 

I'm getting laundry and housework done this morning. Then our retired friend stopped in for his regular visits. I just had lunch and am waiting for my 2nd load to get washed so I can get it in the dryer and then probably go take a nap. My internal alarm clock keeps waking me up at 5:45 to 6am, because it thinks it's 7am. So, I've been awake awhile. I finally got up at 6:50 and dh says what are you doing. I said my head still thinks it's 7am. He said I need a new head.

After nap I plan to make some more snickerdoodle cookies. I only kept about 6 from the batch I made for dd and of course we ate all those on Tuesday. I've been wanting more.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Friday off

I swear, I think I am just ready to be done with computers and tech. My main work/email issue is still not resolved. The other program issue is still not resolved. I have today off, but wanted to do about an hours work this morning for my side job. I go to log in remotely and it won't connect. I give up. I was just logged in there yesterday, no problem, as I was checking on something for side job boss. So frustrating and I don't have time this morning to deal with getting a hold of their IT help, as dh and I are heading into the city in a couple hours. 

I did manage to get one item checked off my to do list this morning. I got some Christmas cards created online (Shutterfly) and those are done. I decided to use the picture we (well, I think my SIL took it) took last Christmas

On the back I just put a photo of dh and I taken this summer and one of our cat. I don't mail out very many cards anymore, so I just ordered 15 cards.

We made the trip into the city. Kinda messy there with snow and messy parking lots. Dh dropped me off at moms - late - I wanted to get there while she was still in the dining room for 15 min or so, but it was 1pm when I got there and mom was just heading back upstairs to her apartment. DH went over to this nuts and bolts supply place to get some stuff he needed, while I visited mom. When we got up to her apartment she of course went right to turn her heat back on (apparently she turns it off when she leaves...) and then she went to use the bathroom (which takes a good 5-10 minutes). I walked over to her heater and she had turned it on to 90! I turned it down to 75 (and even then I was dying of heat). Then while she was in the bathroom I quickly took her bedding off and put on the new waterproof bed cover I got for her and remade her bed. All before she even got done, so she's none the wiser and I didn't have to try to explain why I was putting that on.  Found her keys. Found her tv remote on her dresser (which explains why she hasn't been watching any tv). 

We got all the groceries picked up. I think I have everything I need for Thanksgiving. I bought some rolls from their bakery and will try freezing them. I also bought a pumpkin pie and put that in the freezer, so I don't have to make one. Then we waited in the long line at Wendy's drive thru to get an early dinner. I think it was so busy mid afternoon because today is a holiday. 

Then we facetimed with dd to wish her a happy birthday. She is 27! Yikes. I told her she's old, LOL. She liked the cookies and they all made it in one piece.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Interest, snow and dogs

For my employer/job, the company's extra funds are in a money market account at the same bank we have our business checking with. It's a hefty balance of several million dollars. It's just been earning a lowly .5% these past years. Well, now that interest rates are rising, there are quite a few banks offering up to 3% interest rate right now. My boss told our banker if they aren't going to up the rate on the money market we have, then she's going to put it someplace else. They upped the rate to 3% LOL. That's a LOT of money earned each month in interest income - around $9000, compared to we've been earning around $750.

We got about 6 inches of snow yesterday and it's stayed cold, so it's still sticking. So pretty. I love seeing it out all our back windows. It makes me feel like a calm has just been laid over everything. DH is, of course, in heaven using his new plow. It moves snow like a boss! (it is a "Boss" plow, LOL). DH took this pretty picture last night from his phone

I'm getting my grocery order ready online to pick up tomorrow. I need to get our Thanksgiving turkey and they have the Butterball turkeys for $1.29/lb. For just the 3 of us, I would pick out like a 12 pound, but the size range for ordering online is 12-16, so they'd probably pick the larger size, but then I remembered when checking out you can actually put in notes for the person picking the order, so I'm going to put in that I'd prefer as close to 12# as possible. Thanksgiving will be here before I know it - 2 weeks away now.

I've been wanting a new and larger tree skirt for under our big Christmas tree. I want a (faux) white fur one. The cheaper ones like on Amazon have mixed reviews. I decided to order a nice one from Balsam Hill. It was regularly $169 (72inches), on sale for $119. I have the "Honey" app on my computer and it did is magic search for coupon codes and found one for $25 off, so I got it for $94. I did checkout through Paypal (where my paypal credit card is linked) and will get 3% cashback from there.

I received some mail from my mom's insurance plan about her getting her flu shot and when she does she may be eligible for $25 gift card. Well, she got the flu shot a couple weeks ago. A service came to where she lives and gave the shots and Covid booster to whoever wanted it and they said they were billing her insurance. I'll have to see if that happened and look a bit more into the $25 reward. LOL. My insurance company just sent me an email yesterday about finishing my profile and questionnaire and getting a $25 reward. I'll have to check into that one, too.

Mr. sent dh an email this morning about various things (they chat about local issues, etc) but he also brought up the dog barking. We can't seem to get through to them that when the dog(s) (usually it's plural, because when one starts in, the rest join) bark for a minute or so because their humans return home, or because someone pulls into our street, or their driveway, or because they see the neighbor boy get on/off the bus, that is NOT A PROBLEM at all. That's what dogs do and everyone knows it's only very short term. It's when they are not home, that their son's dog will just bark literally non stop the whole time. It's annoying at 5am and it's annoying at 3pm. For example last Friday I was on a conference call for over an hour and had to have my mic open so I could participate. For over a half hour there was non stop barking in the background, because neighbors were not home and left that dog able to bark the whole time. THAT IS A PROBLEM. Dh tried to convey this in his reply back, as nice as possible, but I told him we have been saying this over and over for 4 years. They just don't seem to get it. And we didn't bring up the barking last Friday during my meeting. We also didn't bring up to them the 5am barking fest - Mr. brought it up, so that is why dh replied the first time and told Mr it wasn't just at 5:45am when he got home that all the dogs barked for a minute- it was the whole time he was gone to the airport. DH also had to explain to him that we have zero issue if he's out there plowing at 5 or 6am. It's not a noise like constant barking. It's like a white noise from the quad running. We have zero issue when they pull in their driveway and the dogs are going nuts. Yet, that bother's them because when they get pulled in they are always yelling at the dogs to stop barking. If they (rarely) do start barking a lot when they are home, they always stop it right then because THEY don't want to listen to it...and they've only listened to it for a few minutes. Try listening to it for an hour or 2 hours or more. I really don't get why they always let their son dump these dogs off for lengthy periods. And this time they all knew Mrs. was going to be out of town for 2 weeks of it - why not just say "hey, we're sorry, but with mom gone for 2 weeks, the 2 extra dogs are just too much, especially since dad is gone a lot for his p/t job and other things he's out doing." But, at least this time around we have not initiated any of the complaining. We already told them last time we are done complaining about the barking issue, because it makes both of us feel like shit to have to text or email them about it.

It's now been a week with my work email issue...still not resolved.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The best plans

Sometimes a plan just doesn't fall into place, LOL. Yesterday and sending out my packages (dd and return of shoes) was one of those.  My first plan last week, was to send them UPS. The return tag on the shoes was a UPS label. I wanted to send dd's gift UPS so it would get there in 2 days....(instead of USPS 5 days or however long they decided to take). If we weren't having a UPS delivery on Tuesday, dh could just text our UPS guy to stop in and pick up. Nope. He told dh last week he's on vacation this week. Ok, we'll just drop the packages off at the town store.

But then yesterday morning I got a notice that the new tennis shoes and throw pillows I ordered from Kohl's are arriving UPS. We'll be able to skip the trip to town and just give the packages to the UPS guy. Yay. UPS usually comes mid to late afternoon. First dh would hear the neighbor dogs bark that someone was turning into our street and then, of course, the substitute guy would come to the door to drop off the packages....the subs always do 3:45pm comes and I'm upstairs working and I hear dh swear and say he missed the UPS guy! He fell asleep at his computer, didn't hear the dogs bark that someone pulled into our street and the dang substitute UPS guy didn't bring the packages to the door - he left them out at the gate! OMG. LOL. So, we got on the car and took them to the store. At least while there I was able to pick up some baked chicken and potato wedges from the deli and that was dinner.

At least my original plan was to send out dd's gift a day earlier, just to make sure it had an extra day to get to her, so she should still get it on her birthday.

I logged into work this morning with a notification that I'm supposed to process payroll today...what? I thought it was tomorrow. I guess because Friday is a holiday for banking, it's today. Ugh. Plus I have 2 meetings to do today. Best get to it all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022


SAM's recent comment in a blog post about spending for the holidays and making sure she didn't have residual expenses being paid for in January reminded me of years ago when dh and I were newly married. I think we had been married a couple of years and going into that holiday season dh had just gotten laid off his job and I only worked part time and went to school full time. We were more than broke, as I think we were even still paying off some hospital bill I had earlier that year (my lung has collapsed). 

My family had always drawn names with all the adults. This had been our tradition as long as I could remember, so we only had 2 gifts to purchase for my side of the family. Our family holiday gatherings were never much about the gifts, it was about the food and gathering together. DH's family (larger than mine) had never drawn names and gifts were the main aspect of their traditions. I think the prior Christmas was our first Christmas as a married couple and to keep up with all the gifts we needed to purchase for dh's family, I remember charging most of them on our JCPenney card. By the time this next Christmas rolled around I was still paying off the prior Christmas! I said never again will I charge for Christmas gifts! We had barely any money to spend of gifts and certainly not enough for the 12 or so gifts we would need to purchase for his family members. I remember asking "could we draw names?". Nope, his mom was having nothing to do with that. I told dh well, then everyone gets a $5 gift this year, because that's all we can afford and I'm not putting gifts on a charge card. I'm still paying off last years gifts.

So, while I felt like a cheap scrooge, that's what I did, spent about $5 on each person (this was back in the late 80's). I don't really remember what gifts I got now, but I do recall we gave my FIL a loaf of homemade banana bread. Something he loved so much, I continued that tradition for him. I think I probably got the women some candles.

Fast forward a few more years and dh's younger siblings were now married and starting families. Suddenly they were mature enough to realize how costly all these gifts were and they talked dh's mom into getting into the name drawing tradition (which we then did all the years forward). But ever since that one year, I have stuck to my decision that I would never put Christmas gifts on a charge card. 

Speaking of gifts - I am planning to get dd's birthday gift out via UPS today. UPS is supposed to be delivering a package here, so I'll be able to give him my outgoing package, plus the tennis shoes I need to return to Skechers. That worked out good. Otherwise we were going to drive into town today to drop off at the store, that takes UPS packages. I just need to get the cookies made! and yesterday I realized I don't have any packages of the cookie mix for peanut butter cookies, just 3 packages of snickerdoodle mix. Dang, but dd said snickerdoodles are just as fine with her, so that's what she's getting, LOL. The first batch is in the oven right now. 

Oh and we got woke up around 4:45am by neighbor's son dog barking non stop for almost an hour, until Mr got home. He had to take Mrs to the airport. I know I sound like a broken record, but what part of "the dog barks non stop when you leave him alone and leave him access to use the dog door to be outside???!!!" do they not get?. So, when Mr gets back home at 5:45 of course then all the dogs bark for a minute (that's normal, to be expected, they are excited to see their human and want to say hello). This morning dh gets an email from Mr. that says "sorry about the barking at 5:45 this morning when I got back from dropping Mrs at airport. It's going to happen again when I pick her up in 10 days". Does he really think that's the only barking that went on? Dh did a good reply. He said "unfortunately C (son's big dog) barked the whole time you were gone. Maybe you should give me your son and DIL's phone numbers and I can send them a recording to listen to for hours". Seriously, Mr knew he was going to be gone for a little over an hour this morning, he knows the dog has a barking issue, is it really that hard to just keep the dog inside for an hour or 90 minutes while you are gone? I just do not get it at all.

I'm glad to today is finally election day and that will be over soon. The big issue in our county is the election for sheriff. Either way, in the end, it's probably not going to matter which person wins. Our sheriff's dept is a joke and most likely still will be. 

The snow has stuck in the trees and ground, so it's pretty out. Dh got to test out his new plow yesterday. It takes care of it all in quick time. He loves it.

Monday, November 7, 2022

One mystery solved

Well, there is finally an update to this ongoing off and on issue with someone shooting from the neighborhood about 1/2 mile down river. It's not just a few gunshots here and there. It's several full magazine dumps, often late at night. We have never known for sure who was doing it.

I think it was Thursday or Friday night, just before 10pm, that about 3 magazines got dumped - so close to 100 rounds in about 2 or 3 minutes. Dh and Mr guessing it's coming from something like an AR15 The next day Mr. Neighbor told dh that the next time it happens, during the day, he's driving over to that neighborhood and knocking on every damn door until he figures out who is doing the shooting. So, early Saturday afternoon the rounds start getting dumped again. Well, Mr did it. He jumped right in his truck and drove over there. Noticed the house the guy from out of state visits (they don't live there, but do have an older friend of his dad, who originally owned the house and died, lives there as a caretaker) had a bunch of cars parked there and several guys outside, so he went there first. Sure enough, that is the one's doing it. Skeet shooting with an AR15!! Or just (supposedly) dumping rounds into a tree on the property that is their backstop. Holy cow! The other houses in that neighborhood are not that far apart! Like just a few acres apart each. Mr was just friendly and basically just asked them why they are also doing this in the middle of the night? People all live close by around here.....he was hopeful maybe he got the point across to them and we haven't heard anything since.  And none of the neighbors down there ever complain? especially when it's like 10pm (weekdays) or midnight (weekends)? or they claim not to hear it? Us, in our neighborhood have just been flabbergasted by this.

Some time ago, when they were shooting a lot, both dh and Mr had called it to report it to the sheriff. Dh had gotten a call back from one of the deputies (but didn't catch his name) who said "well...we're going to err on the side of liberty, so there's nothing that can be done". While dh wasn't happy with this answer, he did feel the deputy was cordial and respectful. This happened during a time (well, it's still going on) when our sheriff's dept was getting a lot of negative feedback from people. DH called and talked to the head sheriff (remember our sheriff's dept is like 7 people total) and just wanted him to know that while he didn't agree or like the answer the deputy gave him, he did want him to know it was done courteously and professionally. The sheriff said something about "who came out to talk to you about it?" DH said no one came out, he called me. The sheriff was then upset because he said it is our policy that every call gets an in person visit, he was supposed to come out to your house. So head sheriff wasn't too happy to hear that. Dh told him he thinks its the guys, who live out of state, coming to that one house, who are doing it. Sheriff said that's not happening and if it starts up again, let him know. Well, we've actually had pretty much quiet since then, until the last few days. 

Dh put in a call for the head sheriff and he called back yesterday. He said this will be brought up in their meeting Monday morning and it's going to get dealt with, so that is hopeful. Dh also thanked Mr Neighbor a couple of times, for going over there and getting the bottom of who it is and I also sent Mr. a message thanking him. At least now that we all know who is doing it, maybe it can get resolved.

It's been snowing this morning, sticking some. Not enough yet for dh to get out his monster snow plow, haha!

And still having my email issue at work. They need to get this figured out!

Sunday, November 6, 2022

End of an era

We had a bit of wind yesterday day morning for awhile. Nothing terrible, the power did not go out. But, dh went to look through the telescope at the bald eagles nest and it was gone! At first he thought maybe the telescope got bumped by the cat (it's right up near the window he walks on the ledge) but we can also see the nest with our naked eye and no nest. Dh walked outside with his binoculars to see if he could be a better look at the tree the nest had been in and it has broke off. We are so sad!! That has always been one of the favorite things for us.

Sad, sad, sad. That nest had been there a very long time according to our other neighbors. But, I suppose since they tend to build nests in old snag's that it's likely they old trees can fall easier. It was a huge nest, that's for sure.

We got a little bit of snow yesterday

Open photo

In the past week or so, with dd's manager going on leave, dd ended up getting a new manager (not the temporary/remote one replacing her manager, so she was glad of that). They also assigned her another supplier to deal with, but it's small, so she was ok with that. And today she is flying to LA to one of her other suppliers, for a 2 day meeting and plant tour, tomorrow and Tuesday and flies back home Tuesday afternoon.

I managed to sleep in the extra hour this morning. I'm hoping the new clocks I got mom awhile back, that are supposed to change with daylight savings time automatically, worked. I'll ask her what time her clock says when I call her later today. When I went to call her yesterday I checked the camera to see if she was there and saw K bringing in her clean laundry, so I waited to call after she was gone. I called about 5 minutes after she left and mom actually was able to remember she was just there and told me "the lady" was just here with my laundry and she put it away for me, so that was really nice. Typically our conversations now do not include mom telling me anything of what is/has gone on. It's just filler stuff she says "how are you? it's going good here" stuff like that. So it was nice to have that little bit she just remembered put into the conversation.

Ok, on tap for today is to look online and purchase another Christmas outdoor inflatable.....Bumble the Abominable Snowman! We have named dh's snow plow "Bumble" and he loves the Christmas inflatables we already have, so he'll love this one. I found it online and looks to be Amazon is cheapest, but I'm going to do a more thorough search just to make sure. And I want to find a big white fur Christmas tree skirt. I guess the snow we got has inspired me to get on the ball!

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Money management

Apparently my continued email/Outlook issue yesterday morning got bumped up a level to the next guy. He's their best and of course he had it fixed within about 15 minutes. I was telling my boss there are like 3 "levels" of expertise with our IT company. There's the one guy, who I always cringe when he gets assigned to my issue (and it almost always end up going up to the next guy). Then there is the 2nd guy, who I do like and am usually happy when it's him and usually he can fix stuff pretty quickly. But, the 3rd guy, is amazing, but of course he gets assigned the hardest ones. I guess I was it yesterday, LOL. My boss said for some reason, she just doesn't click with the 2nd guy and I'm guessing her being "the boss" she typically gets assigned the top guy, haha.

I've always been a bit flabbergasted by employees who are either months behind on submitting their expense and auto allowance reports (to the tune of thousands of dollars owed to them) or don't cash a bonus check until months later. Like - do they have so much money that they don't care? Are they just so scatterbrained that they can't even keep track of their money? A couple of examples came up yesterday morning at work. One, an employee we hired last April. She decided to quit. She had not turned in a couple months expense reports and she was also owed 3 months auto allowance she hadn't turned in reports for. And to top it off, my boss was cleaning out her desk and found her bonus check she was given last July! Who does that?! It was a check for almost $1000.

Then I realized that 2 other employees had still not cashed their bonus check from July. Boss and I were really surprised about one, as she is not a high earner and you wouldn't think it's because she doesn't need the money. Just as I was double checking with our bank online to see if the checks cleared this past 30 days (I have not reconciled the October bank statement yet) boss was asking these 2 employees if they've cashed their bonus checks from July yet...I then determined they did both finally cash them a couple weeks ago. But boss asked the one lady....why?! LOL!. Her answer: I was just saving it for an emergency. Boss's reply was "well, that's what savings accounts are for!". I told my boss I wish I was able to just let uncashed checks sit in my desk!

Then early afternoon I got a reply from support on my other program issue. A ridiculous "you need to contact your accounting software support". So, I forwarded it to great IT guy, he (I'm sure!) rolled his eyes and called me and we then ended up on an online chat with accounting software support, which was literally an hour of total ridiculousness. The person was so slow to respond and then guess what that person tells us? You need to contact your expense reporting company support. He ended up calling the expense reporting company support, with me conferenced in, and insisted on some damn help here. And what do you know, it does sound like it's a bug on their end. Boy, you'd think with what we pay a year to both of these companies their support would be much better. Every so often we get an email from our expense company "account manager" wanting to know if we want to meet (phone call) up and go over any needs we may have, etc. We never do, but just happened to get an email from him again Friday morning so my boss and I accepted the meeting invite. Very timely and he'll get an earful next Wednesday!

I received (timely!) the October invoice for mom's caregiver services and paid that this morning. So much nicer to not have to keep asking for it. That previous caregiver kind of falls into the category of those employees above - how the heck do you not keep track of your money and make sure you are get what is owed to you? Boggles my mind.

I see this morning K got my mom in the shower when she got her up at 7:30, rather than waiting until after breakfast. From the little video clips I could hear her having to talk my mom into it, of course. I heard her say "well, you always say that and then after you tell me that felt so good to get a shower". I guess that worked, haha. Then I saw her getting her laundry ready to do. I think she gets that going while the residents are at breakfast for the hour or so.

I have housework on today's to do list. I need to get that new mattress cover on the guest bed and remake the bed I now have all torn apart. We are having a windy day. I woke up to our wonderful windchimes just making the prettiest soothing sounds. It's very relaxing. Possibly getting some snow this afternoon. Just when I thought to myself the other day, boy we haven't heard that night time gun shooter for a long time, he let off about 3 magazine dumps Thursday night just before 10pm. And then yesterday, while I'm on my hours long phone call with IT guy, I had my phone on speaker and in my background is the damn neighbor's dogs (mostly the son's) barking non-stop - you know, the one they are supposed to put the bark collar on when they leave, but "ooops we forgot" as usual. After about a half hour of listening to that I texted dh downstairs and said "what in the hell is wrong with those dogs?" DH said it's just the son's dog, barking because they aren't home, as usual. Finally they stopped. Neighbors probably got back home.

Hopefully we don't loose power with this wind. I see it must have went off for a few seconds during the night. And of good grief - I decided to log into work just now. 1) to make sure my email is still working and 2) to do a couple of invoices I didn't get to yesterday afternoon. Now I can't open the accounting program. I give up!

Friday, November 4, 2022

IT all day

What a crap work day I had yesterday. I really got almost nothing done. I got a hold of our IT company when they opened up at 7am and the guy worked on it for about an hour.....or five....I don't even know how long it all ended up being. My "profile" was broken, so he had to re-create and reinstall my profile for apparently my whole computer. Once that finally got gone he wanted me to make sure I could open the accounting program, which it would not open. So, then he had to work on that awhile. My gut is telling me that when one of the other IT guys did our accounting software upgrade a couple weeks ago, he did not 100% complete the process. Once that was done and we hang up, I start trying to work and then realize my web browser isn't there with all my saved settings and bookmarks and log ins. A call back to him, and he was able to get that put back on. 

Then I finally decide to tackle the issue I discovered the day before, only now that my accounting software upgraded nade the issue even worse! Now the app is completely gone and when I tried to reinstall it, I get error messages. I call the company we use, that has this app to sync with accounting software, and after being on hold 20 min to talk to someone for help, they tell me to call the accounting software company. So I call the accounting software company and, you guessed it, they told me to call the other company! So, then I had to get our IT involved as I'm at a loss and no clue how to make it work. A different IT guy helped me on this one and all's the expense app company did was create a ticket for one of their specialized depts to work on it within 24 hours.

I dealt with this from 7am to 5pm yesterday. I was wiped out for the evening. DD and I did play a couple of online cribbage games with each other, now that she has free time again, so that was fun. And then guess what? I get up this morning (early) and get logged into work and my email won't work again!..........the only good thing is today is at least Friday!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

a little preparendess

During that long phone call I had with mom's new caregiver, one of the things she mentioned, in dealing with dementia, is one of the next stages they often start to experience is incontinence. She said so far she just noticed a little bit of mom with it in her bathroom, but that was the week she was sick with her cold. But, also from following the dementia page on Facebook, I can see that incontinence is extremely common as they get into the later stages. To get at least somewhat prepared for it, I decided to buy a waterproof mattress cover for mom's twin bed, and while I was at it, get one for the guest bed I have, that she sleeps on, when here for holidays. Just better to be prepared and keep the mattresses safe from any accidents. Kohl's had a buy one get one half sale and they just arrived today. They seem like nice soft covers. I still have not heard back again, from that lady who has the care home. She did reply to my email and basically told me to call her at the # below, which I did about an hour or so after receiving her email and left a voice mail. I then followed up with another email. Obviously this isn't going to be an easy process, so I will also ask K for any other recommendations for me to get on their waiting list, as I'm sure it would be much better to be on more than one.

I haven't heard anything yet about a year end company meeting I may have to fly back over for, but I looked at last years emails and it wasn't even scheduled (for mid Dec) until Nov 23rd. Honestly, they should just do a Teams meeting. Just seems wasteful to fly in so many people for a 90 minute meeting and an in office lunch. We have 5 or 6 remote employees now, along with another satellite office with 4 or 5 employees.  But, if I do get to fly over, at least I'll be able to do a visit with dd for the weekend. If we have our dang new snow tires by then, maybe I could even talk dh into driving me over there and we both visit with dd a couple days after my meeting. Now that we don't have dogs to deal with, this is doable. The cat would be fine on his own in the house for a few days. We'll see. Gotta see if there is even a meeting first.

I did get my desk and office area mostly cleaned up. I think I'm going to buy a small bookcase for my office. That would help organize some of my stuff a little better. And I could finally get some of my books about of storage bins, since apparently dh isn't ever going to do the built-ins I wanted along the hallway to the bonus room. Next year I'm going to insist we just hire someone to come in and build some for me, but I want to finish getting the Mule/snow plow paid off first. 

Ugh, it's going to be an annoying day with tech issues at work. Right at the end of yesterday's work day I discovered an issue with another program I use to sync data into our accounting software, so I need to figure that out this morning. Only I go to log in my work desktop and can't even open Outlook for email.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Movies, meds, and shoes

On Halloween night we watched a movie dh wanted to see. "Django Unchained". I'm not a fan of any Quentin Tarrentino movies, but aside from all the stupid blood and guts flying everywhere, the story itself was ok. That guy has one strange brain. Anyhow, it passed the time for the evening and dh only fell asleep once watching it, LOL. He has a hard time sitting on the couch to watch something. He almost always falls asleep.

I realized I hadn't put in for my extra time off over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Usually I take the Wed off before Thanksgiving, but we already only have to work a half day that day, so no need really to use a whole day of PTO (plus I don't plan on picking my mom up on Wed, as usual), so I put in for the Monday after. I also put in for Friday Nov 11th off. I will use that Friday to do another mom visit and get groceries. I can also pick up some furnace filters from our HVAC company, who is only open weekdays. For Christmas we get a few paid days off, the 23rd, 26th, and Jan 2nd, so I'm taking off the 27-30th. That will be a nice 11 days of no working. In the next couple of weeks, I'll also probably figure out a day early/mid Dec to take off on a Friday, too.

I ordered some tennis shoes from Skecher that I thought would be great. I already have a daily pair of Skechers I wear and really like and wanted to try out their new "slip-ins" style. Welp, a size 7 in this style runs small apparently, because they are too small and my toes are hitting. Boo! Now I have to send them back. Typically I can wear between a 6.5 and a 7 in shoes. I have super narrow AA feet so sometimes I 6.5 works in some shoes to help me get away from a shoe being too wide (as most affordable shoes don't come in narrow widths), but for tennis shoes, since I wear socks, a 7 is usually always good. I'm not going to get a 7.5 in the slip-in's. The too short 7 already felt too wide. Bummer. They were cute and a cute color. So, I had $15 in Kohl's cash to use and ordered a regular lace up pair, similar to the pair I have now.

We drove into the little pharmacy in town yesterday to pick up dh's med. At least it is fillable with a 90 day supply, but when it's time for his next refill I have to contact his dr office to order a new refill for the next year, I think I'm going to have them send it to the mail order pharmacy. It will just be easier, especially over the winter months, to not have to make a trip to town, if not necessary. I priced it out with the mail order pharmacy and it shows dh's 90 day supply via mail order at $27, where he's now paying $19. I thought it might be cheaper to do the mail order. But, it also takes about a gallon of gas to make the drive to town and back, so there's that cost at over $5 a gallon.  

Wed, Thurs and Friday is the other caregiver on duty. This morning she did her normal stop in to wake up (if necessary)/reminder a little after 7:30. But, then she also came back about 7:55 to make sure mom was actually ready (she was, just hadn't gone down yet) so the caregiver told mom she'd walk down with her, which I thought was good - makes sure mom actually gets down there by 8, instead of half the time they are having to come back up at 8:10 or 8:15 when they realize she's still up in her apartment. I had to call her again yesterday to remind her to go down for lunch, though I haven't had to do that in almost a week.

According to my weather app on my phone it's supposed to be snowing right now, but it's not, though I do see it snowed up on the ridge across from us.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Tuesday this and that

As per usual just the one trick or treater, Batman, around 4:15pm. His little, almost 2 year old sis, was at her daycare and they were on their way to get her and then trick or treat through that neighborhood. We sent a little ziploc bag with some of the candy for her, who was apparently Batgirl, and neighbor said she'd text a picture later.

I'd say my leg/calf is doing somewhat better, so giving it rest to heal and heat seems to be helping. I had something I needed to take to the mailbox first thing yesterday morning, but really didn't want to walk that far and put on strain and what I was mailing also had a phone# I could just call to update the info, so instead of just sending it back in their prepaid envelope, I called and updated the information. I had updated my moms mailing address with social security/medicare to be my address, but apparently her medicare advantage plan got word and took it as she now lived at the new address, which is in a different county and that plan isn't available in my county, so I called and let them know her residence is still the same as always, just her mailing address changed. I usually like walking down to the mailbox to get some extra steps in for exercise, but I know that I need to get this calf muscle healed up is more of a priority.

My desk and the office space around me is looking like a tornado hit it. I need to get tidied up. I think it's causing me stress and I've been feeling hard to concentrate on work. Today's task: clean up!

I have a savings account online that I put in $75 per paycheck for propane costs. We pay in full for our early summer fill up and then I prepay in Sept for our winter fill up, so 2 big bills. I have a PayPal account with a debit card (that earns 1% cash back, but I rarely use it, dh uses his for gas, is about it) and a credit card that earns 2% cash back, which I use most regularly. Plus I use Paypal whenever I need to pay dd for something she might buy that I can't find here, or for our share of Amazon Prime, etc.  and just transfer her $ that way. Anyhow, getting to my point, Paypal recently started a savings account option that earns 2.75%. I'm sure not getting that in my other account I'm putting the $75 bi monthly into, so I started the paypal savings account, so at least I could earn a little something on the money in there. Better than nothing. I may also start sweeping any other extra money in my checking to there, while the interest rate is good. I should probably look into putting my mom's extra she has in her checking/savings (like almost zero interest rate) into one of these high interest savings account, while the money is just sitting there.