Sunday, April 30, 2023

Feeling accomplished

It was a nice Saturday all around yesterday. The weather was wonderful. DH washed the Mule (sideXside). I cleaned up around the daylilies. He washes out in front of the end of the shop, near our street. He was using a small pressure washer so he didn't see or hear the 2 little neighbor kids standing at the fence waiting to say hi to him as I walked up, so I got his attention and pointed to them. They are so stinking cute. The little girl is getting so big! She's almost 2 1/2 now. She was riding J's old "bike" he used to ride. I don't know what they are called but just sit on the seat and move it along with your legs/feet on the ground. Her name also starts with a J, so dh calls her "Lady J". LOL.  After they left I told dh he'll be having her ride a regular bike with no training wheels in no time. That's what our son did with our daughter LOL. She was barely 4 and had her bike with training wheels. On his own he went into the garage and got a wrench to take them off and taught her (on the grass) in no time, haha. 

I got a pan of brownies made after breakfast and the sheets washed on our bed. And I got the chicken coop cleaned out and fresh bedding put in. This was my supervisor during the job. She was quite bossy.

I got a nap in around 1:30 or 2. DH has our old recliner out in his shop and said he fell asleep sitting out in it, LOL. 

Just as I was getting out stuff to start to make dinner Mrs Neighbor called and said she had a couple of pieces of cake left from an event they went to last night, to share and would meet at our side gate. DH had answered so he was going to to get it from her, but I went out too, to say hello. Like she said when she saw me "oh, I haven't seen you in awhile!" I said I know, that's why I came out too! Winter's over! haha. We all chatted awhile and the cake was a nice dessert treat after dinner last night. Then as we are standing there chatting here come the other neighbors hyper dog....they are obviously letting him out to run free again. Annoying. 

Oh and the other cute thing with little neighbor boy - their house is way down at the end of our street. He catches the school bus down at the other end, near us, and in front of Mr & Mrs. house. Out at the corner of their first lot is one of those big green power company boxes. J now rides his bike down in the morning, puts it behind the green box and then has his bike to ride back home in the afternoon. Mrs said the first day she went and left some candy in his helmet :)

Wish me luck on my bread making attempt today.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

A little offroad excursion

Of course I don't oversleep on a Saturday, haha. Awake at 6:30 this morning. At least I should be able to get an afternoon nap in, if I want need.

My trainee continues to do well and I'm actually starting to get a little caught up. He's still working when I am done for the day (he works until like 5pm or so) so last Friday when I was done I sent him a message telling him he did a great job and have a good weekend. Yesterday I messaged him thanking him for all his help this week. It sounds like he is going to work a few more hours next week as he doesn't have one of his classes for some reason. He said Tuesday he will work 9-5. I have Tuesday off, so hopefully he can manage all day. I'll leave him plenty to work on and if he gets stuck on a payment he can leave it and start another.

I made pizza for dinner last night and have a few leftover pieces that will be used for my lunch today. It was a sunny 77 degree day yesterday. After dinner dh asked if I wanted to go take a ride in our sidexside. We drove down the main road (the UTV is licensed for roads) about 5 miles and then took a forest service road back. We had to guess on some of the way back as there were several off shoots of forest service roads, but we made it. It was fun and did not see another soul (other than 2 deer)......until just about to pull back out onto the  main road out in front of our house and here come a little subaru down the trail, LOL.

Today I just have lots of misc stuff I want to do. Make brownies, vacuum, clean the chicken coop. I need to finish cleaning out the old dead leaves around the day lilies, from last season. I really need to clean up my office. It always seems to end up the "catch all" for crap and for being mostly "paperless" I sure do have a lot of papers that get piled up on my desk.

Two more weeks until dd and sil are here for the weekend. Then it sounds like they plan to come back a month later, in June, for father's day. In between we have our friends coming to stay for about a week. 

What are your plans for this weekend? Is it nice weather where you are?

Friday, April 28, 2023

It's Friday already

I was sleeping hard and dreaming and overslept this morning. I was dreaming it was Sunday, so when I first woke up I thought it was Sunday. I looked at the clock and saw it was almost 7:30 and then thought,'s Friday! So, I was late to work by about 10 minutes, LOL. At least it's Friday.

And pay day. And my first pay with my side job reduced hours. I will say it has been nice to have less work, but I'm not going to much like the less money, as I adjust to it. Such is life.

We decided to go out to dinner at the nearby steakhouse last night. We usually eat light dinners most nights now, so it was nice to have a good, full meal - and of course to not have to make dinner. I had a 6oz sirloin with garlic mashed potatoes and dh had the fish and chips (as always, LOL). It was ok/good, but we both have kind of realized that it's just not as good as it used to be, with these new owners that took over a couple years ago. We don't go there too often (maybe a few times a year) but it seems every time the menu has changed some and the same meal never tastes quite the same each time. They used to have a great salad bar. Then during covid they removed it. Last time we were they they had put the salad bar back in. DH always likes to get a salad. Just a green salad with toppings, but this time it was all "fancy" lettuce/greens and when he sat back down with his salad I was like "what is that?" LOL. Under the old owners the little loaf of french bread pre meal was so good. Whatever they use now, it's got such a hard crust, it's even hard to cut with the knife they provide. 

As we are eating a couple sits down near us. Near the end of our meal I notice her super cute tennis shoes! She was about my age, it appeared. I kept trying to sneak looks at her shoes to see if I could see a logo or something to give me an idea of the brand, but I couldn't see anything stand out. They were a tan color and a mesh material. I was literally about to get my phone out of my purse to try to sneak a picture of her shoes so I could google lens them and dh started to get up and said are you ready to go? Dang it. I'm not the type to stop at her table and say "excuse me..where'd ya get the cute shoes?" LOL.

I googled tan women's mesh athletic shoes when I got home. I kept looking at pics, but nope..there was no big N on the side. There was no stripes on the side. There was no big S on the side. Then I found these Skechers at Target - they sure look like what she had on, or at least super close to the look. I ordered a pair, haha!

Everything is really greening up around here. Some parts of our lawn are so green and almost ready to mow. Dh will probably have to mow next week.

I think (hope) I'm finally getting a weekend with not much to do. With the nice weather I have a little bit of yard work to do on some plants. I also need to clean out the chicken coop. I will probably make some brownies and also give making another loaf of bread a try in my old breadmaker. I bought some bread flour so I want to give it a try again and see if it turns out ok.


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Benefits decisions

Kitty seems back to 100%. At 4:30 he was having the zoomies upstairs and down. He's back to his annoying self, LOL and just went outside and is keeping busy. The weather is enjoyable now. 60 today. Tomorrow gets to 70 and then Sat thru most of next week is 80. Wooo!

Today starts benefits open enrollment at work. Both dh and I need to get into the eye doctor and get new glasses. I have never had him on my vision insurance (last time he went and got glasses was like 8 years ago LOL), but thought it would be a good idea to add him this year (starts June 1) and use the benefits. It's only $77 a year to add him and I think between the eye exam and glasses that the insurance will pay some towards, I'll save much more than that, so it would be worth it to add him for the year. 

I was really taking a look at the vision insurance details and seeing an eye doctor and getting glasses through an in network provider saves so much compared to what they will reimburse for out of network. But, I am bummed because my eye doctor is not in network. Originally, after we moved here, I saw him in Costco and he was part of the network. Then I had to see him again 3 years ago when I had the issue with my scratched cornea and he had moved into his own office. He doesn't bill insurances, so I had to submit my claims for my visits to him. I can't remember how much it covered and at the time I really didn't care - I just wanted my eye to get better!

But, for both dh and I to have eye exams and get new glasses that will be costly, so I think it would be better if I use one of the in network eye doctors as it seems we would probably save several hundred dollars. Bummer, as I super like my eye doctor, but that's a lot of extra money to go out of network. 

Ahhh. I just tried to give my mom a call.......back to her phone unplugged LOL. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Chaotic morning

I got through yesterday. The payroll issue was something really stupid that took them several hours to figure out, but once it was fixed, I had it completed in 15 minutes or so. 

By 1:30 yesterday afternoon I decided to call the vet and see when I could get the cat it. He just was not improving. As I explained to the receptionist making the appointment: usually he's very active, vocal and often annoying and he's being none of that LOL. She said they could get him in at 8am this morning. Then of course a couple hours later he started perking up a bit. By the time I was done with work and making/having dinner he was much better. He even wanted outside for short periods (like 5 minutes each). Just before I was done working he was up on my desk being inquisitive, then took some time to clean himself (also a good sign he's feeling better) and tried to knock stuff off my desk (the annoying part). I decided to wait until morning and see how he's doing to make a final decision to take him in or not. I got up at 6 and he was in dh's den window sill and jumped down and followed me (he ran up the stairs) upstairs as I wanted to see if he ate any of his food last night (he usually eats what's left in his bowl at night) and most of it was gone, so I figured he's doing better and I went back to bed for a bit. At 7:15 I called the vets office and left a voicemail that he was better and I was canceling the appointment. Their office says they don't open until 7:30, but I wanted to try to call as early as possible, in case someone was in the office, they'd know asap that the appt. is canceled. He just came past me on top of my desk in a hurry to get to the window to watch something, LOL. I'd say he's back to normal.

I had made a Target order online that delivered yesterday. All good stuff ;) Betty Crocker cookie mixes and 3 boxes of brownie mix. DH finished up the banana cream pie last night. It really was good and I'll be making that again soon. It was very easy, but I think I'll see if they make the instant banana cream pudding in sugar free and try that, if they do. 

I'm waiting for a call back from the IT for my side job, as I lost the ability to access last week. It sounds like they have the issue now fixed, but I missed the guy's call, so we are playing phone tag a bit.

With dh done (for awhile) cutting lumber, he's cleaned up and put away his saw and saw horses in the garage and now has moved my car from the shop back in the garage.  

Well, that was a bit of a break right in the middle of typing this. The IT guy called me and got me set back up, so I'm back in business working on the side job stuff. I opened the few programs I use to make sure they opened, and my email opened so I didn't think anything of it. But, after we got off the phone I realized my email still is no longer receiving or sending emails, so that still needs to get resolved. But, my main thing is I needed access to the Quickbooks program.

Our dogs used to get sick in the spring time, after the snow melted and I can't remember now what the vet called the name of the sickness, but something to do with them eating stuff outside that upsets their gut. He had me giving them Fortiflora with their food to reset their gut health and that always worked. I'm wondering if cat is experiencing it, too. DH said he saw him rolling in elk poop last week. Then of course he cleans I just ordered some Fortiflora for cats to try giving him. At least he's not as sick like the dogs used to get. They would have diarrhea and throw up.

I'm hoping my afternoon will be less eventful than my morning has been so far.  It seems I get started on something and get interrupted with something else to take care of. And now I'm hungry for lunch. I'm thinking a good old fashioned pb&j sandwich sounds really good.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Work delays

Today is payroll processing day and thankfully my trainee doesn't start today until noon, so I should be able to get payroll done and out of the way before he starts. At least that is the plan!

I found somewhere else to order the 2 dressers I want for the closets. They were a little higher priced than the first place that canceled my order. Their website had offered $10 off to sign up for emails, so I did that and got the promo code. Then when I was checking out, one of my shopping apps I have on my computer did a search for coupon codes and found one for $50 off. That helped! I sure hope I even get this order. I got an email this morning that says estimated ship date is not until Mid May. These dressers are sold on quite a few websites, but boy the prices sure are all over the place.

I think I'm going to have to get the cat into the vet. He's just been very inactive the past few days. He's still eating, though doesn't seem like as much (and will eat his treats) and his stool in his litter box seems normal, and he's not vomiting, so I don't know what is wrong. He hasn't wanted to go outside for like 3 days now and half the time is under one of the guest beds. The last I remember him outside was just after dinner Saturday. He was just out in the back, near the patio. I heard a bunch of ravens out back cawing all of a sudden and the cat came running to the back patio door in a hurry to want back in, which of course I let him right back in and said "did those black birds scare you?". He hasn't been the same since, but I doubt that would cause anything. He's usually very active all day, usually to the point he's annoying, LOL. If he's not showing an improvement by lunch time, I'll give the vet a call to get him in.

I haven't had much payroll issues lately, as far as getting the payroll processed, but just ran into a glitch this morning where I'm getting an error message, but no idea why, so I'm now waiting for the payroll company advisor to get back to me. Plus I have quite a few out of the norm adjustments to make to this payroll, so that will probably take me longer to work through. It's frustrating to rarely be able to get help fast. Usually I just email our advisor, but noticed lately she's had a message tag on her emails that say creating a "case" online will take priority over emails. Well, I tried to call, then email, so now I've created a case, since my email and call an hour ago go nowhere. GRRR.

Still nothing new going on with the lots next door. Since the guy said he would be doing all the land clearing himself with his own equipment, you'd think he'd be out here now doing it, now that the weather is good and snow is all gone. It doesn't sound like he is using this equipment for some other job (this was not his line of business before retiring, he just had this equipment for his personal use) because we heard from someone this equipment is still parked at his house in town. I guess every day he's not out here is a good day, LOL.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Sunday short

Sunday was a more normal weekend day, finally. I did a little house cleaning,a load of laundry, and I made a banana cream pie (dh's favorite). It almost wasn't to be! I was using an easy recipe I found online that uses instant pudding. I had 3 small boxes of banana cream pudding the recipe called for one large. So I grabbed 2 small and removed a little bit to make the equivalent of one large box. I added the the milk (with some cornstarch added) and it was not thickening up at all. I was like what the heck? Finally after about 10 minutes I took the boxes out of the garbage and saw they were not instant. I looked at the remaining (small) box I had in the pantry and that one was instant. It wasn't quite enough, per the recipe, but I made do and it worked out fine and made more than enough filling, with the cool whip added. Anyway - I thought it tasted really good and dh must have - he had 2 slices last night.

Saturday evening he tried to call the guy about fostering the service dog puppy, but no answer and he was busy out in his shop all day yesterday, so he was too tired to try to call again in the evening. He keeps trying to decide if he wants to do it so I told him to just call the guy and get more info and then we can make a decision once we know all the details.

My mom called me again after dinner (though about an hour later than Saturday). She still is sundowning and saying the same things she used to say at her apartment. "I'm just staying here awhile" "will be going home pretty soon" "I'm not sure how much longer I'm staying here, but I'm ready to go home now". I just kind of changed the subject and started talking about my cat, LOL. 

It's rainy and gray skies this morning, but it looks like the weather gets lots better starting at the end of this week. Sunny and into the 70's all next week. 

I am not feeling in the work mood yet this morning, but I best get to it whether I want to or not.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Saturday tasks

Well, I made it through the week and at least the 2nd half of it went much better for training. Now let's just hope he sticks around for awhile (or at least until we get caught up). As I told my boss, he really is a nice kid, very polite. We also had some time, while online training to just chat a bit here and there, as I asked him questions about his studies, etc. He also seems quite focused on what he wants to do and why. I was impressed. I don't think at that age I had any foresight like that.

After work I got up on the loft and painted the first coat of paint. We are just using up old white paint....well, we thought we had 2 partial 5 gallons of leftover white paint, as well as almost 1 gallon. But when dh opened one of the old 5 gallon buckets it was tan color, so must have been white used as base to create the tan (I think it was leftover from our previous house's previous owners they left there). So then he opened the other old 5 gallon and it was white, but only about a gallon left. The 2 gallons we ended up with was just enough to paint that floor. But, now we need to go to town later this morning and get a couple more gallons of white paint to do a second coat. But at least in painting these loft floors we have used up leftovers in 2 one gallon and 1 5 gallon buckets and can throw them out and out of the way now. 

It took me just about an hour to paint that floor, so now I know how long the 2nd coat will take me today. One more hour, haha! I can do it! Then I have a few more trim boards to add 2nd coat of stain, but that should only take about half hour. I can do it!

While we are in town I'm going to stop at the grocery store and get a few things to tide us over until we go to the city again and can get another Walmart order. Milk and bread mostly. and probably more lunch meat. And bananas so I can make the banana cream pie I want to make for dh. I need to make a little list. Our next trip to the city we also need to stop and pick up the lawn fertilizer that dh applies every May.

Dh won't be able to move a lot of stuff up there yet...he'll do some lighter bins, but too hard to carry up a ladder (he will probably add some pull down type stairs later). For all the big stuff he will put up there, he will have to rent a forklift for a day or two. Some of his stuff is on pallets and he can just lift a whole pallet up there. And to do all that he will need a nice day in order to move most of the crap outside and out of the way while he does this. I also told him that when he gets all his stuff up there and under the work bench he will build and then has all this extra floor space that does NOT mean he gets to add MORE crap! He says he won't.........but over time he will have it just like it is now, where you have to walk through a maze to get to anything.

Well, I'd better get showered and ready so we can go into town.

Friday, April 21, 2023

TGIF 100%

It was another good day with my trainee, so hopefully he stays in this good work mode. It was not a good day for side job haha. So my emails have slowed way down related to that job, as expected. Last one I got was last Thursday from their CPA. Then yesterday side job boss texts me to try sending her an email, they got their old server shut down and she and her dh are set up on the new company owners server (as her dh is still consulting for them) but she thinks my email probably wasn't included in the new set up. It was not. I gave her my personal email address. Then this morning I thought oh oh, if their server is no to I now access their (old) company Quickbooks that I am still working on, because technically she and her dh are still a company while he consults and they are still collecting old accounts receivable for probably several more months. I tried to log in when I got up this morning, but of course it no longer works, so I sent her an email asking how I am now supposed to access their Quickbooks. It sometimes boggles my mind how no one there thought of that??

It's snowing again this morning. None of it sticks much and when it does it's melted in a few hours after it warms up. 

Dh got the loft flooring done yesterday and now it is ready for me to add 2 coats of white paint, which will have to wait for the first coat until I get off work today. It's too large of area for me to do during a lunch break. 

The end that already has stuff stored up there is above the bathroom, so that space was already there, but now extends across the whole back wall. The underside of the loft will be stained tongue and groove and additional lighting, which I am working on today to find out what we will need. I have a "connection", haha, to a lighting "engineer", or at least that's something in her title - but she will tell me exactly what we need for this area based on size, ceiling height, etc. It's all greek to me, but she did an awesome job telling me what to get for our shop and garage lighting, so I'm going with her recommendation. Not to mention she's freaking organized - I sent her an email this morning that she helped me 5 years ago and within 10 minutes she had emailed me back and attached our original drawings she still had. I love people like that.

My dd's boss is out today and put her as the person in charge of the dept for the day. She's going to be a manager some day, I just don't think she wants to be, haha. As she has told me before, she really just wants to be a well paid minion, LOL. She doesn't want all the managerial responsibilities.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Turned the corner

Yesterday was MUCH better with my new hire. He worked 2 different blocks of time and showed up on time and stayed the whole time for both. And even as important, the work itself seemed to click with him and he got so much done. He did great. My boss and I are much happier after yesterday and at the end of the day I sent her a text that he gets an A+ for the day. It was all a huge improvement.

And in between my training him I had to do a zoom meeting with a global payroll company, as we are hiring an employee who lives in a different country. 

DH was able to pick up his latest load of lumber yesterday. Just 2 final beams included and I got those stained up after work. Of course I'm not done, haha. He'll have some trim that needs to be stained. Then I'll have to paint the dang floor of the loft (ugh). At some point he will be adding tongue and groove to the underside of the 2 lofts and all those boards will need staining.

I really need to get a new chair mat for my desk chair ordered. This old one is falling apart and getting holes and cracks. I guess that task needs to get put on my to do list now, too. 

My mom's check from her credit union account close out is now in her checking account, so I'm glad that is all done and taken care of. Part of me feels a little sad/nostalgic that I closed it out, as it was the credit union she worked at many years ago and also the credit union for the company she (prior to working at the CU) and my step dad worked at. He for over 40 years. But, there's no reason to leave that money there at this point. 

Does anyone else watch Ted Lasso? Last nights episode was probably my favorite so far. The scene with Jamie teaching Roy to ride a bike was hilarious. I watched that part twice.  

DH was talking on the phone with Mr. Neighbor last night. One of the things brought up was dogs and Mr asked him if we'd want to foster a dog. Apparently it's a golden retriever that will eventually be a service type dog but needs to be fostered with someone for a year. Not really sure of any details other than that, but dh told Mr. he probably would end up getting to attached and then too hard to give back. But then later he said to me, but....I'd never have to see a dog get old and die that way.....

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

This is why I have never wanted to be a boss

I think my boss is getting more annoyed than I am with the new hire. She called me again yesterday afternoon after I updated her on his latest chaos of his schedule. She's like what do you think? I said well...he's very unstructured with his time and schedule. He got online yesterday to work just before 10am. His schedule for the day changed twice in 2 hours! First thing I had asked him how long he was going to be able to work and he said 4-5 hours. Then said he had to leave at 1:30 and would be back around 3 or 3:30. The about 1:50 said he was now leaving and would be back at 3pm. My boss said she is going was going to have a chat with him that he needs to let us know his work times and then be there for those times he's committed to. She also told me she's trying to teach him real world work expectations. We also discussed how long it's taking him to work on these, so I think I will have to stay online the whole time he is posting a payment and see if I can figure out what he is doing to be so slow......We're not trying to discourage him, but do need a little more work out of him then we are getting. The work really is not hard at all. Just taking payment reports we receive and in our order system entering the amounts being paid next to the invoice number in our order system. Enter the amount, find the next invoice in the list (sorted numerically, so easy to find) and enter that amount paid, repeat until you are done with the report.

So, I log in to work this morning to see how much he got done and looked at his timecard to see how long he worked. He worked 4 hours. I know part of that time was spent talking on the phone with my boss (she had messaged me about it after I was done working) and part of it figuring out his "new" schedule that he emailed to us. He got 3 payment reports posted. Not ideal, but I had told him to just pick one/some from the list to work on when he got done with the 2 I had assigned and he did get it figured out and posted on his own, so there is that. He is supposed to start at 8am today and work until 10am (then has classes) and then work again from 1-5pm. When my boss saw his new schedule she messaged that she thinks he just made it even harder on himself to keep it, LOL. She said she also tried to emphasize that efficiency and getting the work done is a priority as well. 

After I got done with work yesterday dh said going out to eat sounded good. I agreed. We decided to just do the little burger drive thru place in the next town over. We don't go there much anymore. Maybe a few times a year now. But, our running joke for the past couple of years is how do we go and order the same thing every time and every time the amount is different/more? DH gets a double, I get a single, we share an order of onion rings (or sometimes fries) and 2 vanilla shakes. A few years ago the order total was around $27 and one time it would be $27. Another time $29. Then back to $27. Then it started being in the low $30's. Last time we went (and we hadn't been in quite awhile) she said that's be $40 something. We were like what?! When we got to the window she said she made an error, she charged us for 3 shakes. Ok. So, last night she says "that'll be $40.85". You should have seen my face, haha! We both laughed all the way to the window. Yep it was $40.85. For 2 burgers, one onion rings and 2 shakes, one with whip cream. While it was good food, I doubt we will be going there much anymore. Good grief. A shake is now $6, plus .50 for whip cream.

The cat started feeling better throughout the day yesterday and by evening he was back to normal. 

Due to weather, dh put off going and getting more lumber, but he plans to do that today, now. 

Ok, well it's 8:01 and new hire hasn't showed up yet. You'd think after getting a talking to (again) yesterday he'd have been logged in and ready to go at 8am this morning. it Friday yet?

Edit: I stand corrected. His new schedule for today says 8:30, not 8am. Ok, I feel better now haha.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Pick up the pace

Training the new hire is going ummm... interesting. We know he isn't available mornings as he has classes, but he also didn't tell me Friday when he'll be available to train next on Monday. But he did message me later Monday morning and said he would be able to start at 2pm. Later my boss sent him an email, cc'ing me, telling him she needs him to give her his schedule of when he can work/train for this week and next. She had called me just before that and I did say that Thurs and Friday last week, he would say he was going to start at a certain time and then not show up, sometimes 2 hours later. Or once we had been started for about 30 minutes and then suddenly he remembered he had a meeting to do and had to leave for a half hour. Boss said that telling me a time and not showing up at that time doesn't work. He needs to learn the value of other's time, etc. That's not how it's going to work once he's in the workplace.

And then yesterday he doesn't show up until 2:40, so 40 minutes later than he told me. I'm done for the day at 3:30, so that didn't give us much time, but I left him with plenty of work as he said he was working until like 6pm. I see he worked until 5:50, so just about 3 hours. I'd say about 20-25 minutes of that was me showing him something, the rest he was working on the tasks. This morning I looked to see how much he got done and boss asked me how much he got done in that time. I told her it's hard for me to judge how long it should take someone new to do this, but it kind of seems pretty slow to me. Basically in 2 1/2 hours of time he posted 19 lines of payments, taking him approx 10 minutes per line. It takes me about 30 seconds per line, LOL, but even if someone was super slow, I wouldn't think it should take more than a few minutes to see the invoice# on the report, find the invoice number on the order screen and type on the payment amount next to it. While I know I've been doing this for years, I would have had those 2 reports, with 19 lines total, done in less than 10 minutes, not 2 1/2 hours. I think next training session I'm going to estimate how long a payment report should take and then once I get him started on it, say ok, I'll check back in x amount of time and see how you're doing with it. Maybe that will spur him along to work a little faster. Also, in the 3 hours he worked yesterday he apparently never checked his email, as he didn't reply to boss's email request for a set schedule. Also, when he was hired she told him he needs to do a minimum of 24 hours per week. She was kind of surprised he didn't log in and do some work over the weekend. If he's working M-F then he's going to have to do almost 5 hours per day.

I went to submit my tax return yesterday and it got rejected. It said that I did not enter info for a 1095-A form (marketplace health insurance) that the IRS has on file. Ok, this would be for dh who had marketplace insurance for the first 5 months last year (then I switched him to my insurance through work). I looked through my manila folder of tax forms I had gotten in the mail and nothing for that. The Turbotax instructions to fix my issue said the 1095-A would have come from either the gov marketplace or the state insurance plan. I tried to log into his old insurance plan but could not get it to work now. Tried resetting, tried asking for my user name. Nothing. Then I remembered I had logged into when I signed him up for this, so I did an email search for that and found an email in January where they said the 1095-A was now available to download. Whew! Found it and got that info entered into Turbo tax and it actually reduced my fed tax by $185 and my state tax by $153. Now my tax returns have been submitted and accepted.

My cat is not feeling well. He seemed fine in the morning, but then spent the rest of the day sleeping in my office and wouldn't even come down when I was done working for the day. Finally he came down just before 9pm and got in my lap to sleep. Well, then I couldn't go to bed because I didn't want to disrupt him sleeping in my lap, LOL, so I stayed up until 9:30. Now this morning he has not wanted to go outside either and is back to sleeping in my office. He hasn't eaten much of what's in his food bowl, but he did eat the few treats I always give him in the morning when I get to my desk. He always jumps up on the corner of my desk and I give him treats. Hopefully he'll bounce out of it today.

While dh was outside yesterday burning the last of the scrap wood he decided to cut down 3 small trunked trees. They are a bit too close to the firepit. One he left the stump up high, as we had bought this cute little wood birdhouse awhile back and he affixed it to the to of the stump. I said umm...won't the birds get smoked out from the fire? He said they come in summer and he can't do fires in summer, so no worries. Makes sense. Then he had 2 other stumps he was about to cut all the way down after he cut most of the tree down. He made it into a cute hitching post! haha.

Cute yard decor. He was pretty proud of himself, LOL. Our backyard lawn starts to the right of that big tree and you can see it hasn't started turning green or growing again, yet. And this morning it's covered in snow again.

I was able to get a hold of my mom on the phone again, so it's good that her phone is now staying plugged in. She's doing well and able to chit chat pretty convincingly, until she says again "it's almost Christmas time". Plus, I can't really ask her about anything. I can't ask her what she just had for lunch or what she was doing, etc. But, she does sound very good and other than not knowing what time of year it is, she sounds like she's doing great. I think when I chat with her she sounds better than she did when I used to call her at her previous apartment.

Monday, April 17, 2023

A good Sunday

I got quite a bit accomplished yesterday. I got a box of 24 hangers stained and now drying on the shop shower curtain. Helped dh with some measurements so he could figure out his next list of lumber and screws. I made a batch of peanut butter cookies. And then I made a custard pie. I even got a nap in and a short movie. It was a good day. The cat loves to take naps with me. As you can see....

Outside the temp got to almost 70. DH decided to take all his scrap wood (some of it leftover from our house build, even) and he cut down all the bigger stuff and was able to start a burn in our fire pit and got a lot of it burned up. He of course had to sit there and watch the fire, so I took him a couple of cookies after they were done. A lot of it was sticks of lumber in several buckets on the floor in the garage, so he's gotten rid of those and out of the way. It looks like he still has about a wheelbarrow full to burn. He ran out of time as by early evening the wind started kicking up, so he let it die down. Then it rained most of the night, I see. Today he plans to run into the lumber store and place his order and pick up what they do have in stock. 

Last week I ordered the 2 dressers for our closets. All happy that I got a better deal than when I was originally looking. Well, I just got an email that says they canceled my order and are refunding my money because it is out of stock and they don't know when it will be back in. Grrr. Ok, I'll try buying it at another place. 

The custard part of the pie is really good, the used a premade crust. I thought that was the whole point, so it would turn out good, LOL. It's thin and overcooked -even though I had to cook the custard filling until it was done, of course. But, it still tastes good and was easy to make. My mom used to make them every so often when I was growing up. I'm surprised I never wrote the recipe down she had, but I just used one online for "old fashioned custard pie". I liked her custard pie so much I often requested it instead of birthday cake. Now I am having it for breakfast, LOL.

I decluttered a drawer in the kitchen, too. One with dish cloths and pot holders. I'm getting rid of several old ones and never use them. Now the drawer isn't stuffed to the top and easier to take out the items when I do want to use them. 

I'm not sure when my trainee will be working today. I forgot to ask him Friday afternoon. I do have a copy of his class schedule, so it looks like probably not until early afternoon. My boss was out last Thurs and Friday so she hasn't really had a chance to catch up with me on how he's doing. 

I got the check from mom's credit union in the mail on Saturday and just now walked it out to my mailbox to mail to her bank here. They should have it tomorrow and deposited into her account. Which reminds me, even though she's on paperless bank statements I do need to update them on her mailing address change to mine.

It's a good thing I got to the mailbox when I did. It was raining a bit, but now it's snowing hard and big flakes. Dh has decided to not go pick up lumber today. He doesn't want it getting all wet on the 10 mile drive home.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Tax break

Well, I learned something new I didn't know, yesterday. I learned that memory care is considered a tax deductible medical expense for taxes. Huh! who knew! She is there for medical reasons (the dementia/Alzheimer's disease and for daily care) so it is considered tax deductible. She and her facility qualify.

“A chronically ill individual is one who has been certified by a licensed health care practitioner within the previous 12 months as: 1) Being unable for at least 90 days, to perform at least two activities of daily living without substantial assistance from another individual, due to the loss of functional capacity. Activities of daily living are eating, toileting, transferring, bathing, dressing, and continence or 2) Requiring substantial supervision to be protected from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.” With the enactment of the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill, the law is now clear. Congress stated clearly that the tax code should provide equal consideration for persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other irreversible dementia. 

In another online article I read that the facility has to be a licensed care facility, which her place is. Good to know! When I file her tax return for 2023 I will be able to deduct all this cost of memory care she is paying out this year (well, the amount over 7.5% of her income). This should result in her having to pay very little, if any, state and federal taxes. For her 2022 return I just completed her federal rate was a bit over 15% and the state rate was 7%. When she takes her RMD (and extra this year) from her IRA, they have it set up to withhold 15% for federal and 7% for state and send in the tax deposit to the IRS, so next year she should get most of that back as a refund. Her tax savings per year now cover about 2 months of the memory care. 

We had a good laugh over messenger with dd last night. Her dog has the funniest shake. He plops his paw in your hand and does this cute head tilt at the same time. She sent a little video. So when she was little and we were racing with the kids, one of the things the kids always were encouraged to do after a race was over was shake hands with each other. So, here she was 5 or 6 and she had the funniest handshake. It was just this strong grip and one pump, haha. Always. I asked her last night do you still shake the same? She said "....probably..." LOL. I said no wonder your dog shakes funny - he learned from you!

DH got all his post and beams up. He will be resting today and figuring out the next lumber order for the stringers and the plywood to make the floor. I going to work on staining more hangers.

Oh geez - now my half sis just texted me again this morning. She is in CA and they are booking a whale watching tour and the tour required a US telephone # to book it, so she texted me she gave them mine, LOL. 

I'm waiting for dh to get up this morning and I'm going to make blueberry muffins for breakfast. Ok, I just heard him so off I go.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Project pictures

Last evening was spent putting a second coat of stain on 2 beams, helping dh "set" 2 posts and then putting a first coat of stain on another beam. I wasn't out in the shop all evening. About 45 minutes after work, then came in and made/ate dinner and waited for the first coats to dry and then back out there from about 8 to 8:30. Dh also decided to call it done for the day. Just after he was done showering the phone rang and it was his old friend/employee calling to chat...which I knew is usually an hours long call. LOL. I was in bed by 9pm.

This morning I decided to start doing MTurks again, after taking the last month off. Not bad for a Saturday as I was quickly able to get about $3.50 in about 10 minutes, so I didn't have to spend a lot of time finding hits to do. My goal is to see what I can earn between now and Memorial weekend....that is the weekend our friends from TX are coming and we will go to the big annual flea market. There is always stuff I want end up wanting to buy, so this will be my spending money for that day. Let's see how much I can earn!

I got a strange text from my half sis last evening. A couple years ago I did her US tax returns for her to get caught up (and get that stimulus money) so she knew I had her SS#. The text said sorry, real quick can you give me my ss#? I'll explain later". I'm thinking she just asked for that a few weeks ago for some retirement money thing (she's a permanent Canadian resident). Even at the time I'm thinking - she has the tax returns, can't she just look at them, like I will do? Haha. Then when she texted me last night, I'm thinking, what the heck?! is she that disorganized? haha. I said give me a minute, I have to go upstairs to my computer to look it up. By the time I got up there she texted that never mind, she found our text from a few weeks ago where I gave her the #. Then she texted that she and BF are in Palm Springs and she just won money at a casino. LOL. Obviously she was needing it for the tax forms. No idea how much she won, I didn't hear back from her.

Here's what dh's work in progress on the back wall loft looks like

The "outside" posts (not in picture, but he got those set last night) are about 8 or so feet out from the wall and then will have a plywood floor across the top. The loft floor space will be at least 320 sq ft, so he will be able to store lots of his "stuff" up there. Below he will build a wood bench, also with storage/shelves underneath along the wall. All that brown wood is what I've stained. He set the outside posts...and then has to get the beams up on top. I gave him a good idea on an easier way to get them lifted up there (as he has to do this by himself) and he said he will probably give that way a try when he does that today.

My closet is almost done. I did order the dressers for both our closets, which looks like will be 2-3 weeks before they get here. I did shop around for the best price and waited to see if anyone put them on sale. I found them through this one website that also had a 5% off code. I put them in my cart and when I went to order the next day one of the dressers (2 diff sizes) had gone down $5. Not a lot but better than going up. It's kind of hard to take a good picture of the whole closet, as it's not huge and the doorway kind of blocks some of it. the 48" dresser will go there on the back wall. To the right, under the hanging clothes is the wood hamper I got (I think Linda was wanting to see that)

Here's kind of a side picture

I still have more hangers to stain, LOL, but most of them will now be for dh's closet. I don't need too many more.

In my closet dh had to build those corners in, because of the ductwork

I'm on a break for a bit from staining. I think all that is left to do today is one more coat of stain on one beam and then 2 coats on 2 beams he hasn't brought in from the garage (where he cuts) yet.

Friday, April 14, 2023


It's been a busy morning, but I don't feel like I am getting much accomplished work wise.  I did have a quick Teams meeting with our IT guy.....about Teams...he was helpful in showing me how to kind of work around the fact that Teams doesn't work well on RDS and showed me a couple of ways to share my work screen while on my local desktop. I also asked him why I am set up different than everyone else who works remote and he explained that. Then I brought up another little issue I've been noticing and he was helpful to explain to me why it's doing that (again a remote "lag" issue) and how best to minimize that issue. My boss had scheduled the meeting and thankfully it was with our IT company's best IT guy. 

Just before my meeting with the IT guy I called my mom and she was in her room, so I got to chat with her again for a few minutes. I think she may have been resting/napping in her chair, but she sounded good/happy. Just did her normal chit chat that she always says, just about every call. I'm glad the phone is still working!

I guess dh has lots more beams to get ready for me to stain, LOL, so I won't have a free weekend. 

The cat was hunting again and caught a bird this time. And he left it in front of the garbage can - "ok I'm done with it, now you can dispose of it".

April is half over already. I have a feeling May is going to go by even quicker.

I've been trying to post this (and think of more to add to it) and keep getting interrupted, so I guess I'm going to call it good for today.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Short Thursday post

Yesterday' training went fine, other than the morning session where Teams wouldn't work. For the afternoon session I just used it from my local desktop instead of via rds. Not ideal, but it worked. He was going to work until 4pm, I'm done at 3:30, but I left him with a report to keep working on his last half hour. He is working around his class schedule and today he said he'd be online at 11am. I got a message from him about 20 minutes before that, that he had to go to a financial aid meeting that came up last minute, so he wouldn't be online until noon, now. Well, finally at 2pm he got back online and we maybe got a half hour in and he suddenly said "oh, I forgot I have a meeting to go to, it shouldn't take more than a half hour and I'll get back online to work". Ok........Once he's trained, I really don't care what hours he works, but he does need to be somewhat available for at least an hour or so at a time, so we can get some actual training done and through getting a payment report recorded without stopping suddenly. He said tomorrow he only has one class on Fridays in the morning and then he will be available from 11am, the rest of the day. We shall see.

I'm back to staining dh's beams and boards for the shop loft, in my spare time. He will lay 2 beams at a time across saw horses and I do one coat of stain and then 2-3 hours later add a second coat. I've done 3 sets of 2 since yesterday after work.  I'm kind of tired this evening. Bedtime in a half an hour. Yay, LOL. I'm ready. This morning I overslept and didn't wake up until 5 minutes before I usually start working. 

I'm glad it's Friday tomorrow (and pay day). I'm ready for the weekend again. 


Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Training time

Technology - a blessing and a curse, LOL. It's wonderful I can work remote, the new hire can work remote and I can train remote.........well, sorta. When it works....

We use Teams (similar to Zoom). It works great for me for messaging coworkers. It works so-so for me to watch a meeting. It doesn't work that great for me and my new coworker trying to share our screens. My issue is when I am logged into my work desktop and open Teams it does not recognize that I have a camera and a mic. I can watch a meeting but not participate. It will not recognize that I have a camera with a mic device on my home computer. So, I have to either open Teams from my local/personal desktop or with my phone app. Then I can talk and see/video chat, etc. Which is fine if we are just having a meeting to talk, but if I need to share my screen, I cannot. I finally figured out a work around awhile back, so that is what I was doing this morning during the 2 hours of training with the new guy. 

Except my connection was constantly getting froze and broken and I kept having to restart it. It does not do that when I am normally working all day, so it has to be something to do with Teams being open. I didn't want to deal with our IT company, because I knew it would just end up taking away my training time, so I just kept re-connecting, but it was annoying, for sure. I will have to contact them if it keeps doing it, but I at least wanted to get the new guy trained a little on stuff. 

We also had an issue on his end where he didn't realize he needed a different cable for his extra monitor, so he was trying to work with one monitor, which is hard for what we are doing. That slowed things down. He was able to do a split screen to share with me, so that worked out ok, but not ideal. Hopefully he'll have his 2nd monitor working soon.

He is going to be working weird hours, often split up during the day, in between his classes. So, we worked together for 2 hours this morning, then he left for class and said he'll be back online at 2pm, so we'll get back at it then. 

My mom's credit union contacted me today to let me know her CD has now matured and she will get the check cut and mailed. Now I won't have to take time to pay attention to that account any longer, nor need to report the interest for it on her tax return. I like that this lady at the CU is so on the ball. It was weeks ago that we discussed this and she told me she would take care of it on 4/12 and she has!

Dh's lumber he ordered is in, so he went to pick that up, in town. Oh boy, more staining, LOL. 

Well, this is all I have time to type up today. 



Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Help is on the way

It's payroll processing day. For the most part now I have (took me forever) worked out the bugs, or rather worked out "work arounds" to the systems bugs, and can now get it done much quicker. Mostly I've realized that if I work out all the bugs the day prior, then on processing day it all goes smoother. 

I was able to get ahold of my mom around 3:15 yesterday. She said that she was in her room visiting with one of the people that work there. She thought it was almost dinner time. She was very happy, still. We just chatted a couple minutes and then I heard the other person say something as she was saying goodbye/hanging up with me. She sounded elderly, too, so I'm guessing it was another resident, not a staff member, LOL. I'm happy her phone is still plugged in.

I managed to suggest to dh to get rid of a little tiny bit of his unused/unneeded stuff in his shop. 3 of those big cardboard cylinders for construction. I forget what they are called. They go in the ground. He did try to get rid of them for free a year or so ago, but no takers. Yesterday he burned them. He also threw out some scrap pieces of misc metal and stuff into the garbage can. None of it really makes much of dent in the overall picture of how much stuff is out there, but every little bit helps. The next order of lumber he put in at the lumber store should be in today or tomorrow. They had to order the beams in. Once he gets this loft done and can move so much stuff up there, it really should make a difference. This loft area will be like almost 40 feet long by 8 ft. I also told him once he has his shop floor where you can actually move around (instead of this maze in between stuff and pallets of stuff) he better not just see it as "oh, now I have room to get more stuff!". He says he is not, but he will......gradually over time.

I was literally just thinking, if our new hire was starting today my boss would have sent out a company email letting everyone know/welcoming him. Well, she just did! Ok, good. Glad to know it's happening and I now will finally have some help ;) He has class this morning so will be at the office this afternoon to get situated. He will be working remotely for the most part, so will have computer equipment and monitors, etc to get today. Mostly today he will be "onboarded" and also supposed to spend a little time with our receptionist while she shows him how to add invoices to our order system. I should probably get to start training him tomorrow, I'm sure. My boss did just set up a 30 minutes Teams meeting for this afternoon, to meet and chat with him.

I'm sure I'll be super busy training the rest of this week, but once I can get the work he will be taking over off my plate, it will be really good.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Weekend wrap up and back to Monday

Uh - Monday already again. But, for work our new hire is supposed to start this week, so that will be good. He's probably just going to be part time hours, at least for now (he's a college student) and I'm not sure if he's starting today or tomorrow. It was supposed to be today, but when I talked with my boss last Thursday she said she might change his start day to Tuesday, but I haven't heard.

My back has just been bothering me every day for a couple of weeks. I'm sure it's from standing and staining boards. I've been using my foam roller but it wasn't helping. Finally Saturday night I caved and took a muscle relaxer (well half of one) before bed, hoping it would help and it definitely did. Though it made me sleep in an extra hour, so I kind of lost my morning blogging time, so I got busy yesterday and never made a post. I was also hoping my back had relaxed enough, in the morning, and I did the foam roller again and this time it popped really good. 

I let the cat out yesterday morning and he was gone for like 3 hours. Finally, one of the times I looked out the window for him I spotted him in the yard bouncing around something he caught. This is the first we've seen him catch something. We let him play awhile but then dh went out to get the shovel and dispose of it but by the time he got back to where the cat had been he had disappeared. Awhile later he showed up at the back patio door, his prize in his mouth, wanting to come in. I said that ain't no mouse! Dh said it was a vole.

I made some lemon squares yesterday and they were easy to make and yummy. Dh doesn't like them. Oh well, more for me, haha.

The first set of stained hangers were ready to use, so I got my 3 bins in my closet emptied out. Figured out what to keep (and wash) and what to get rid of. I must have washed 4 loads and still have one more to do. I have way too many clothes. Even with what I am keeping, we'll need more hangers (and for dh's clothes) so I ordered 2 more boxes. I texted dd a few pictures of some dressy tops that were in a size small and a couple in size XS and she said she will take them. I ended up just making a small pile for her and she can go through them to see if she wants anything when she comes over in May. Then a pile for donation and piles I washed and hung up some with the hangers I have. But the bins are empty and now out in the shop. 

It's going to be sunny and 70 today and was 65 yesterday. Enjoy it while we can today as tomorrow is rain and 50.  

I just had a phone chat with my boss. Our new hire is sounding a bit iffy now...she's waiting to hear more this morning from his business mentor. Long story short - but, he now doesn't have transportation and he's working on a resolve for that, but he's supposed to start tomorrow. Honestly, if it all falls through it would be for the best. He was going to be someone short term anyway.

My mom's phone was still working as of yesterday. Hopefully it can stay that way.

Saturday, April 8, 2023


I slept in almost an hour longer than usual this morning and even then it was hard to wake up. I had woken up around 4am and couldn't go back to sleep for awhile as my back is bothering me but then I apparently fell back sound asleep.

Yesterday mom's phone was still plugged in. I loose the bet, haha. I tried around 10:30, she didn't answer but at least it was ringing. Then she called me at 6:15. She said a "guy friend" helped her dial me, but I didn't hear anyone in the background leaving or anything. She was in a great mood and we chatted for a few minutes. Then she said it was the name of her guy friend from her old place that helped her dial, LOL. Then 20 minutes later she called me again and then said "oh, did we just talk a little while ago?" So, we just chatted a minute. But she seemed very upbeat and happy both calls.

I also finally got a copy of mom's March statement emailed to me, where I was wondering what the extra $35 was for. It was for foot care. I messaged dd and told her and said good, because I so hate feet, LOL. She said you couldn't pay her $35 to trim someones toe nails so it's a good deal, haha. It's apparently not a monthly thing as that charge is not on there for April's statement (they charge the rent and care at the first of the month and add on any extra charges from the previous month). April's just had a $30 extra charge for the hairdresser service.

Before lunch I got the other 24 hangers stained and now they are drying. Then we ran into town to the lumber store for misc stuff. I'm now on my 2nd load of laundry and about to head downstairs to start hanging clothes on hangers ;)

Friday, April 7, 2023

The 3 hour lunch break

I was wanting to get to my moms around 12:50 yesterday - after lunch, but before the 1pm activity starts, so I don't interrupt her maybe being in an activity. But of course dh is almost always running late nowadays so we did not get there until a few minutes after 1pm. She was sitting with a small group who was just starting to do a craft, but she was happy to see us and the staff person told her she'd better visit with us instead and she'll save her craft for her to finish later.

We sat down in the common area near her room, and after visiting a few minutes I said I was going to the bathroom and left dh to chat with her while I actually went to her room to take a look at her phone. Oh my! LOL. It was unplugged in almost every way it could be! I got it all plugged back in how I thought it goes. It's a mess of wire and such because of it being through a small cable box. There is a cable coming out of the wall that goes to a small cable box. Then a cable from that to her modem. Both of those units plug into the wall outlet. Then the phone line goes from the modem to the back of her phone. But it was still not working. So I went back out and told mom and dh I was trying to fix her phone but was having trouble and needed dh to look at it. We all get back to her room and dh is looking at it and she's saying "what's wrong with it?" I said it was all unplugged so that's why is hasn't been working and I can't call you. Of course she didn't unplug any of it, LOL. That pesky "someone" had struck again! Dh couldn't see where I had anything wrong, but when he picked up the handset it had a dial tone, so probably the modem just needed time to come back online. I put black electrical tape everywhere I could so we'll see if that works to stop her from unplugging. If she does it still, I'll probably just take out the phone then, as there is no point in having it, if it's never working.

I was trying to make this midday long lunch break trip into town as quick as possible, but that didn't happen. Between trying to figure out her phone, then getting it all taped down and then a bit of time to actually visit. Then Walmart sent me a notification that they were only filling 2 loaves of my bread ordered, not the 5 I ordered. So, we had to stop at another grocery store. Well, they had none of the bread in stock either. Geez! So, we got something similar to try because 2 loaves of bread will last us about a week. Then I looked for the salmon we like, since last time they only had 2 boxes and they were still out. DH saw his precious Mountain Dew on sale (cheaper than Walmart) so we bought some of that to stock up on at that price. Then thought we were getting in a short/quick check out line. One lady with a few things finishing up and one guy behind her with just a few things. Oh no. It was the line from hell, LOL. This lady couldn't figure out why the soda she bought wasn't the sale price. They looked at the ad and finally figured out you had to buy 4. So then she had to leave the line to go get another box of soda. But apparently that wasn't right either. Who knows. She finally just told the cashier to ring her up. Then she had to stand there forever writing a check. Finally dh noticed 2 lines over only had one in line and almost done paying so we moved over there. We were done ringing up when I saw that check writing lady finally was done. We actually passed her on the way to our truck, LOL.  Then after getting our order at Walmart, dh wanted to stop at Wendys, which I didn't know we were going to do since it was like 2:15pm and we already had lunch before we left and too early for dinner...I decided sure, lets stop. I'm running late anyway, what's another 15 minutes and if he's still hungry later this evening he can just make himself a snack so I didn't have to make dinner.

To make matters worse, Wendy's has stopped making their grilled chicken sandwich. The nerve of them! LOL. That bums me out because I love their grilled chicken sandwiches. There is a new Chick-fil-A across the street, so we decided we will give them a try next time. We've never had them and I see they do offer a grilled chicken sandwich.

I think I'm good on some snacks for me now, for at least a week or so. I got a 4 pack of orange/cranberry muffins from the bakery. Some chex mix and ingredients to make some lemon squares and a custard pie. And ice cream, haha.  I also got 2 of the premade pie crusts so at some point I will make dh a banana cream pie.

Dh is now figuring out what lumber he needs to continue on the loft along the back wall of the shop. And figuring out what screws and hardware he needs, which he orders online for the most part.

In the mail yesterday was the newest pharmacy statement for my mom. Yep, this new doctor she has is on the ball. It was correct and only for the one med she is keeping her on. $8 a month now for meds, instead of $51. But when I called the pharmacy last month to pay for it over the phone with mom's credit card, I thought I set it up so they would just bill that each month, but it shows a balance due, so I'll have to call them again.

I had worked thru my lunch break on Wednesday for a company meeting and started a half hour early yesterday and since I didn't have to make dinner I worked an extra half hour at the end of  yesterday. That made up my extra 2 hours off yesterday.

Later this morning I'll try giving my mom a call...........any bets on if it's still working or not?!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

The finished bookcase

DH got the trim installed on the bookcase door and also installed the locking mechanism. That part was probably the hardest and took him quite awhile to figure out, even with the instructions. It all looks great and so much better than an open closet with a gun safe and big black and yellow lidded bins! (I am so sick of looking at bins in that and our bedroom closets, LOL)

That old tv stand/cabinet we are going to get rid of and replace with a smaller glass door cabinet that is part of the collection with his desk (Pottery Barn). The cat loves sleeping in the blue chair, so he's been putting a blanket over the chair and at least when he took this picture he thought to take off the blanket, LOL. 

As of last evening my mom's phone still isn't working (again). I'm actually hoping it's still not working when I get there today to visit her. Then I can see what the problem is. Whether it's the handset off the base or she's unplugging the phone cord. I'm kind of hoping it's the unplugging - I'm going to take some electrical tape with me and try my trick of taping it, if that is the case. 

Her birthday is coming up early next month. It's on a weekday. I'm trying to figure out what to do. Take some time off and go see her that day? Or make time the weekend before. What to get her? What do you get someone in memory care?  I don't know what/if the m/c place does for birthdays. I know they list them on the top of the monthly activity calendar. I will probably just make some cupcakes to take to her and a card.

It's interesting to read different peoples experiences and opinions on having a parent with dementia on this Facebook group I follow. A lot of people have the parent living with them and are caregiving them full time (and self admittedly are going through hell). A lot due to not being able to afford outside care and a lot just because they say there is no way they'd put their parent in a care home/facility. But the interesting part is then these same people will make another post saying if they themselves get this disease they have told their child(ren) not to ruin their lives trying to take care of them, put them in a care facility. So, why are they so adamant against putting their parent in one? The past 3 years of my mom living in her previous place and now this place is so much better for her than me trying to care for her. It's also better for me, too. For her, she gets the socialization and activities that are so important for elderly, whether with dementia or not. Even her original doctor she had for many years told her this. It's especially helpful for those with dementia. If she lived at my house she would only get company from me and dh and then of course it wouldn't be all the time. She would have gone stir crazy moving in with me. She mentioned it a few times....I just kind of brushed her off, LOL. I'd say oh, you'd be so bored here or I'm working all day, you'd basically be by yourself all day. The funny part is she never moved her mom in with her....and her mom didn't have much money for care like she does. I never asked if grandma wanted to live with her, but just assumed mom didn't want her to because my mom was so busy with her social life.(but grandma didn't have dementia, just old age)


Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Delivery and installation

Our hidden bookcase door arrived just after 4pm yesterday. A HUGE box on like a double sized pallet, but at least the driver did cart it all the way to our front door. Then we put it on a dolly and rolled it inside. It's gorgeous and is almost a perfect match to our doors and trim. Dh (with a little help from me) got it installed, but still has to put back the trim around the door, which he will do today. Likely no one will ever know there is a closet behind it with a gun safe and supplies :)

These are the neat books dh found at an antique store. Somehow I'll need to add to bookcase so at least one of them is showing the front, which is so neat. Each book has a picture on the front.

That tv cabinet to the right is going to go. It's such a weird shaped little room, LOL. It's got angles, like trapezoid shaped.

I found it interesting that when I had to go in for my 2nd mammogram and the ultrasound, the hospital group sent me an estimate (online/email) that it would cost $750. It made it sound like this would be after insurance and gave me the option to prepay it. I declined. While I haven't met my deductible yet, there would still be some sort of provider adjustment to this $750 and I'm not forking out $750 until they process it through my insurance, if that's what I would owe. Well, of course that isn't what I owe. The claim has been processed and I owe $453 of it. The claim for the needle biopsy procedure hasn't been submitted yet, but I'm sure that will take me over my deductible now. 

I did find a 2 pack of replacement candelabra light bulbs to go in my small desk lamp to pick up with my Walmart order tomorrow. Once I took out the brand name in my search I found they had them in stock in a different brand at a reasonable price.

Our garbage can is now completely full from the huge box and packing material the bookcase door came in. Good thing garbage pick up is tomorrow and it can get emptied. 

Last evening I watched The Voice and got caught up on a few episodes of Young Sheldon. I'm not really enjoying that show as much now that he's older. Not as cute or funny as I thought it was before. Mostly I enjoy meemaw and Georgie's storylines, haha.

Annnd we got more snow this morning. Every day, LOL. Just a skiff. It will be melted by mid day but I am so ready for some warmer days. I see the mid 60's we were supposed to get starting this coming weekend are now back down to mid 50's. Bummer.

I need to get a new chair mat for my desk chair. This one is getting holes in it and just needs replacing. I'd love to find something that fits better, as this is a corner type desk. I'm just not in the mood to search online for one right now.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

One tax return done

I did get my mom's tax returns (state and federal) done yesterday. It took about 30 minutes (via TurboTax). I thought we had changed my mom's annual retirement withdrawal to also take out state taxes at 5%, but apparently we mad that change last year, after she had already taken her RMD, so she owes quite a bit to the state, plus it works out to around 7%. So, I emailed the investment admin lady and she is changing it to 7%. We took her RMD for this year in January and that did get state taxes held out of it. 

We're waiting on the delivery today of the hidden bookcase door. No idea what time, all I was told was between 9 and 4 so of course we are ready by 9am. Hopefully it's earlier than later and gives dh time to get working on installing it today. DD said she picked up a neat book for him at Costco the other day, to give to him on his next birthday. Something he'll be able to put in the bookcase. When we were antiquing with our friends last September, he found this neat set of history type books that he will be able to display there. They have these awesome colored drawings of western/cowboy life on the covers.

I just got a text that our delivery is "out for delivery", but no estimated time given. But at least it's confirmed it will be delivered today.

My little candelabra light bulb in my birdie desk lamp went out this morning. I thought for sure I had an extra in my desk drawer, but I guess I had already used it. Mad at myself for not getting more when I used the last one! We are going to get groceries on Thursday and I thought Walmart would have the bulbs, but they are out. When I looked them up online Walmart and Amazon wanted like $30 for 2. What?! That's insane. I kept looking. Geez - at our local Ace hardware in town a 2 pack is less than $5. I may just wait and next time we have to go to town pick some up then. I did end up finding some on Amazon for $7.

I feel like there is something I'm supposed to be doing/taking care of and forgetting. Hmmm....

My new firestick is awesome. So fast to load up and no issues. I like to watch a news show at 6pm and with the old stick I was having to turn the tv on a good 5 minutes before it started to just try to get the show on, LOL...and then it would freeze up halfway into it. Last night I watched my news show and then watched The Voice for 2 hours, with no issues. 

I'm working on my grocery list for the order for Thursday. I'm constantly hungry for something we don't have, but I don't know what - I'm guessing I'm just wanting sweets and have been trying not to buy them for the most part. I tried sugar free pudding cups awhile back and apparently it's not those that I want, LOL. Then I bought some tortillas and pepperoni slices to make "italian quesadillas" as a snack. I've made a few the past couple of weeks as a snack, but that's not it either. It's probably cookies, I want, LOL. I'm not much of a chips eater at all. DH eats them every day with his lunch. 

I'm also trying to decide what time to go on Thursday, so I can also include a stop to visit with my mom. I'm kind of thinking of just taking a long lunch, 2 hours or so. I can start a half hour early and then work an extra half hour when I get home...or just skip a lunch break on Friday. If I wait until I get off at 4:30 to leave then we get to mom's when she's probably still having dinner. Then by the time I can get back home it's way past my dinner and I'll be starving. I think I'll just leave here at noon, get to her place at 12:45 and visit a quick visit and then go pick up food and head back home.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Snowy Monday

Finally a break from all the staining and painting. Around noon I got the floor of the 2nd loft area painted with Kilz. We let that dry and then after dinner went back up there and painted the second coat with regular white paint. This paint is from a big 5 gallon bucket of paint leftover from when we finished our garage inside at our house we had in town. I didn't do anymore staining of the second box of hangers. My wrist is tired. I'm tired. Now dh has no more lumber left, so until he gets more we are on a break. He's tired and in pain, so he definitely needs a break for a few days. I will probably go stain another 12 hangers during my lunch break, but this can be done whenever I feel like it. I do want to get it done, though.

And it's snowing again, LOL. We don't really get much spring here. It pretty much goes from winter to summer within a week, when it decides to.

Late yesterday morning our retired friend stopped by (just as we were going to go paint the loft) so we visited with him probably 45 minutes or so. He even made the comment that I've been thinking...."so, I don't see any ground being torn up next door?.....". Because if you are going to get to building now is the time to get started, for sure. Dh just said no, but he did drive through one day last week. 

My mom can't seem to keep her phone figured out. Yesterday afternoon my phone rings with yet another # (from her area) that I don't recognize. I can hear her in the background and someone else's voice. I'm saying hello, but she apparently thinks the call didn't go through and was trying to redial. A few minutes later she calls me back and says her wonderful neighbor let her use her phone to call me. Then she barely got out to ask me how I was doing and I hear the lady saying something to mom and then mom says oh ok, well I guess she needs her phone back. I said well go to your room and I'll call you on your phone there. Well...of course it's not working. I tried off and on the rest of the day. Oh well.

I started watching a new show on Netflix last night that dd recommended called The Night Agent. I've watched the first episode. So far so good. 

I think I will try to squeeze in getting mom's tax return done today. It usually only takes me about a half hour. She only has like 4 forms I have to report: SS, IRA distribution and interest on her savings and credit union account. I can import the info from prior years return, so that helps it finish quicker, too.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Just more staining

It's still very much winter here. Another 3-4 inches of snow last night. In looking at the extended forecast it does look like finally next weekend it starts getting up into the mid 60's during the day. That sounds promising.

I got one box of 24 hangers stained. I'm just using a little sponge to apply the stain and seems to work well and fairly quickly. I like them much better this color and will match the closets.

I hung them to dry in the shower in the shop bathroom. The closets are done, but I still have 3 big bins in my closet, waiting for the hangers to be done, LOL. I will take a picture of the finished closet when I can get the bins emptied and it all looks like it's supposed to. I haven't ordered the dressers for each closet yet, either.

For the loft in the shop dh got 2 more big beams cut and I got the 2 coats of stain on those. Today I need to paint the floor of the second corner loft he got done. It's just like maybe an 8x10 area. I just put the paint roller on a long pole and stand there and roll it on the floor, making my way to where the ladder is, then I take the roller off the pole and stand on the ladder and hand roll that last little area. 

Dh is now out of lumber to keep working on this long back wall loft. We originally bought enough that was in our budget for that month, along with that's all he could store and haul, haha. Now he can go get more, which he will probably do next week, so he can keep going on it. Tuesday our hidden bookcase door is supposed to get delivered, so depending on what time of day it comes, he will either install in Tuesday or have to wait until Wednesday. It's supposed to come fully ready to install, but I'm sure it will still take some time to get it in there. 

I made pizza for dinner last night. Not sure what to have tonight. Maybe I'll make some enchiladas. Or maybe just omelettes. I haven't made those in awhile. I keep my bags of shredded cheese, along with a few other misc things in one of my crisper drawers in the fridge. Yesterday I organized them differently so I can see them all easily and old ones won't get buried under new ones and then not end up getting used and go past date. I ended up throwing out 2 bags of mozzarella shredded cheese :(

I need to get mine and mom's tax returns done. Ugh. With being so busy with all the staining this past month I keep putting it off. Plus, I'm a there's that.... These will be on my to do list for this next week. Mom's is pretty quick and easy. Mine is not, due to the self employment income and also we usually can itemize.

I found a wood shoe rack I like on Amazon for my closet, so I just ordered that, along with the socks dh needs. For the shelf above the hanging rods I may look for some big baskets to store stuff. Will look nice and keep the stuff out of sight. I need to figure out a new ironing board. I have this old super ugly big ironing board that I've had forever and a day. DH hates it, LOL. I rarely even iron much. I just want to get rid of it and find something smaller, maybe just something table top. Any suggestions? We had thought about one that is built in/pull down, but just don't have the room in my closet and no plug in anyway.

We're going to put a few things on local free page. There is an old tv stand cabinet that has been in dh's den we want to get rid of and in his closet has been an old small bookcase and small dresser. The bookcase and dresser are painted blue with red trim....because they used to be in our son's cute racecar themed bedroom when he was a toddler, LOL. My mom actually painted them for me years ago, which was sweet of her to do that for me. We had gotten our son this cute wood racecar bed when he grew out of his crib and I had this dresser and bookcase that was in unfinished wood and she painted them for me for his room. I should dig though my boxes of old photos and find a picture of his bedroom. I can also put the ironing board for free, too.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

I can watch my tv again

The new Firestick for the tv is working great. Yay! I had it on for like 3 hours after I got it set up and not one issue. No freezing or disconnecting from the wifi. But, supposedly when I was going through the set up it said it would restore all the apps and settings from my old stick set up, but it did not. So, I'm having to add apps and re-sign in to them. I'm relieved that it's not the tv causing the issue. We've had the tv quite a long time, but we really don't watch it alot and I really don't want to have to get a new one anytime soon.

The trim for the closets got the last coat of poly last night and dh should be able to put them on later today and be done! But, those hangers I ordered awhile back? ya...they were too light of wood, more of a natural, which is what the description said, but the pics looked a bit more brown. I was just going to keep them anyway and dh said try staining one of them. So, I did and they look great. It will just be a pain to stain 48 hangers, LOL. But I will.

Apparently it's supposed to snow all day. We got a dusting last night and now it just started lightly snowing. The pass near us is supposed to get 6-10 inches today.

I just received an email from my doctors office for the balance owing on my visit, yet when I log into my insurance it's still showing the claim as in process. Not sure how that works, LOL.

I canceled our Sirius XM subscription a month or two ago now. Good lord, they try to call me constantly. For awhile it was daily, even more than once a day. Then it finally subsided for the past couple of weeks, but just got a call this morning. It shows on my caller ID, so I know it's that company so I just don't answer it. I guess I just need to answer it and tell them to stop calling me! If I wanted their service I wouldn't have canceled it. Geez.

Well, dh is up. He said it will take him a couple hours to have the beams cut and notched, to be ready to stain, so during that time I think I will work on the hangers. Just going to hang them to dry on the shower rod in the shop bathroom.