Monday, July 31, 2023

Tiny egg and mystery plants

The last day of July and the year is more than half over. The month of August has always gone really fast for me.  It's like all of a sudden it will be Labor Day weekend.

Yesterday morning I found this teeny little egg in the nest box. Not much more than an inch in length.

Apparently it (among other names) is called a "fairy egg" and can happen for some reason. It's quite adorable, LOL. I had never heard of a fairy egg before.

Our friend with the puppy stopped by again yesterday morning. She grows every time, LOL. She wasn't quite as worn out yet, so she was sniffing around the yard quite a bit while we visited on the front patio.

Lots of forest fires started up this weekend in our side of the state. Not good.

So, early summer we bought 2 boxwood shrubs to replace the dead azalea's on each side of the front patio. One azalea was completely dead. The other had like 2 little green leaves on it, but 98% dead. But, dh took that one and put it in the pot, with some dirt, that one of the boxwoods came in. Figured we might as well try. In 2 other pots he planted a couple of little pine tree sprouts that had started growing up in some gravel. Again, might as well see if they would take and grow. I watered the 3 pots regularly but it all died off, so I stopped watering. A week or so ago as I was walking by the 3 pots I see some green leaves starting to grow in the azalea pot, next to the dead azalea little stump. I'm thinking those look like petunia leaves, but nah, can't be, must just be a weed growing in the pot. But, I gave it a little water anyway. I look over yesterday as I'm at the water hydrant and see this

How in the world did that grow there?! LOL. If I had wanted to grow petunias from seeds I sure couldn't have!

And this flowering thing started growing in our island. We've been wondering what it is and I finally took a picture and looked it up. It's an invasive weed (LOL) called Leafy Spurge. Ah well, guess I'll pull it out, then.

We do have some native stuff that grows naturally in the island of the driveway (along with stuff we've planted). A few pines and some oregon grape, which I wish would grow more and spread out, but it is growing more, especially around the other side of the island.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Slacked Saturday

I really got a bunch of nothing done yesterday. I realized that since pay day is Monday, it's in my bank account Saturday, so I took care of bill paying (that isn't already set on auto pay) and budgeting. Watered flowers in the morning. Saw the mail carrier go by while I was out there, so I walked down to get the mail. It was a packet from our county tax appeal board, recommending I first request an informal appeal with the Dept. of Revenue, assessor's office. Which I have already done like 10 days ago.

I put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher, made dh lunch and that's about it. Oh, and I did get the litter box cleaned out. We talked about going and doing something, but didn't. Around 2pm I took a nap until 3:30. I was really hungry when I got up and was in the pantry looking for something to snack on before dinner. Dh has been saying all week that a big burrito sounds good. Then he suggested going to the nearby restaurant for dinner, but I said a big meal and none of their menu choices really sound that good. He then said the same. So, we decided to head to the city and just go to Taco Time, LOL. He got a big burrito and mexi-fries and I got a chicken quesadilla. Then it was a little after 5pm so we decided to go see my mom. They start dinner at like 4:30 so I was hoping she was done or close to it. I always look at the sign in sheet to see how many people visit in a day. We were the 3rd, for like 24 residents. She was still eating but we told her we'd go sit down in the lounge area and wait for her. I'm not sure if she remembered or the staff girl who was sitting at her table helping another resident eat reminded her, but she came around the corner a little while later.

DH says to me she looks different...but he hasn't been with me the last few visits. We're sitting there chatting (ok answering her usual "now how long does it take you to get here?" question every other minute) and I suddenly realize she doesn't have her glasses on. (hence why dh thought she looked different). I tell her I'm going to her room to find her glasses, figuring they were there. I could not find them anywhere. Oh crap. Then I walked back to dh and her and told them I couldn't find them and was going to ask staff. There were 2 aides still at the table she had been eating dinner at, helping others and I told them her glasses are missing, any ideas where they might be? They both said "oh! we've been looking for them too!" One girl said some of them are little packrats and might have picked them up, so she will look in others rooms.

I go around the corner to head back to mom and dh and hear them laughing. I get closer and mom holds up her glasses. They were in her pants pocket! Oh geez! she's lucky she didn't break them that way. I went back to tell the staff girls we found them and they got a good laugh, too. The girl who had been sitting at the table told me that after dh and I walked away to go sit down my mom told her "that's my daugher, (my name)" so that is good she is still knowing who I am, most of the time still. She didn't mention her parents at all this visit.

We stayed almost an hour and then went to the grocery store and I ran in and got some more lettuce and chicken breasts. And bagels. I keep forgetting to buy bagels. I bought some cream cheese for some last trip and then forgot to add bagels to my cart. Then we went to our town store last week and again, I forgot bagels. I also bought one of their cooler bags to bring the food home in. Two of our bags we used all the time when I pick up groceries are ripping at the zipper and not sealing, so needed new anyway. Then on the way home we stopped at DQ and got peanut buster parfaits to eat on the way home. We got home around 7:30. It was nice to get out and do a little something. And nice not to have to make dinner. I should now be able to make it with enough groceries (I hope) until I need to go back on Monday, the 7th for mom's dr appt.

We made the cat stay inside all day, which he certainly didn't seem to mind. He was tired from being outside all night, LOL.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Damn cat!

My dd and I often start messaging first thing in the morning. Thursday was their anniversary and I knew they had taken a couple days off work. Later that morning I sent a group message wishing them a happy anniversary, but it wasn't showing they had seen the message. My guess is they went on a hike for the day, and yep, they did and messaged when they got back, with beautiful pictures of where they hiked to. Then yesterday morning I was going to message her about something and thought no, they might want to sleep in. I'll wait. Well, a bit later she messaged me, but I had forgotten what I was thinking about messaging her. She said they were both up at 6:30 LOL. They are both used to getting up so early, that 6:30 is sleeping in almost 2 more hours for them.

Dh and I went outside in the backyard for a bit last evening. I'm not sure what time it was, 7:00-7:30ish. Went ahead and let the cat outside with us. We were hearing a couple of bald eagles across the river, sounds like straight across, but could not see them. We were just trying to scan the trees across to see if we saw them. The cat was following us around, being a cat. We went back in the house via the back patio door, with Amos still in the backyard. Around 8 I looked out for him and he was still in the backyard, on the edge of the lawn watching a tree we had heard chipmunks chattering in. Our black dog used to be obsessed with chipmunks - we always referred to them as "chippermonkeys". Around 9 I went out on the patio again to see if the cat was around. No cat. He did not come back before I went to bed at 9:40. He did not come back when dh came to bed at 12:30. He was not at the door when I got up at 1:30 am to check. Damn cat! Finally, at 5:50 this morning I hear a meow outside our bedroom patio door and got up and let him in. He was happy to be back inside. Damn cat! That's the longest he's ever stayed out. We rarely let him outside after dinner, but with it not getting dark until after 10pm I figured he'd be back by then. His typical outside jaunts are usually not much more than a half hour or so. Of course this morning he's just sleeping away...

I'm going to use my new steam mop again today, do the kitchen again and also the upstairs bathroom. I need to vacuum downstairs, too. I'm not sure if dh will be mowing today or tomorrow. We cannot figure out what the heck our neighbor is doing with his lawn. He's basically let the manicured front lawn dry halfway out (their lawn service did come and put something on it a week or two ago). Then a couple days ago he mowed his area on his side of our fence, but he only mowed half of it, LOL. So odd. Still nothing new happening on the other side of us with DAN's lots. Nor has his house for sale been relisted yet. 

We had some decent amount of rain yesterday afternoon, so I didn't water last night, but probably should have watered the pots that are under the patio and garage and shop eaves. I'll get out there this morning, after I have breakfast and water everything. I need to do a full litterbox clean today, too.

My morning cup of coffee has worn off, time for breakfast.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Time is speeding by

How can it be Friday already again? I was finally able to get a hold of my mom later yesterday afternoon and she seemed completely fine, so that is good. 

I was looking at my work calendar for the rest of this year and figuring out what days to take off for PTO. I get 27 days per year and so far this year have only taken 9 days. I had next Friday on my list to take off and then see on my calendar I had noted my mom has a dr. appt on the next Monday, the 7th. I totally forgot that they had me set up that next appointment in 5 months, after her first appointment in memory care. So, that is good it's coming up and the dr. can take a look at her umbilical hernia then to see if its bigger, like med tech thought. So, I added Monday to my days off, too. I came up with 13 days for 2023, plus 2 into 2024, so still should take 5 more to use up my 27 days....not to mention I have at least a couple hundred hours accrued beyond that. My boss just got an email dump of all my PTO requests at one time, haha. At least there was an option in the system to request it all as one email instead of individual emails to her to approve, for each block of days off.

I also need to get dh and I scheduled for eye exams, new glasses. That will be on my to-do list for next week. I'll procrastinate it so much that by the time I do it, it will be winter and we don't like to make appts to drive to the city, unless we have to. Plus an eye dr would be 2 visits, one for the exams and pick out glasses and another to go pick them up. I prefer to have checkups and things during good driving months.

After we got back from our quick trip to town yesterday dh let the cat outside. Usually he hangs around the house outside or if he does go off, he's not gone too long. Well, by the time I got done at 4:30 with work, he still wasn't back. Dh saw these pics on the game camera. Obviously heading out the gate, LOL

I went out towards the gate calling for him and then see him coming over from the lot next to us. Trespassing, LOL, but at least he wasn't across the road (though I'm sure he probably was at some point in his afternoon out). He did end up coming inside, but was then a total butthead about being back inside for about 2 hours. 

Both our vehicles needed gas so we took the truck to town for our errands and then dh decided to go back with my car and fill up. There was probably over 1/3 of a tank, and enough to get to the city, if needed, but with wondering if I was going to have to make a trip in, if my mom was still sick, he decided a full tank was better piece of mind. Then I wouldn't be dealing with her and having to stop and get gas. 


Thursday, July 27, 2023

What is it?!

My decor item from Pottery Barn arrived via UPS. Our UPS guy (they aren't going on strike, btw) texted dh that he was 2 minutes out. DH says what's UPS bringing and I just say "decor". He goes out to get the package and chat with driver. He comes back in, and from my office upstairs, I hear him unboxing it. Then I hear him muttering "ok...whatever...". I'm thinking to myself, it can't be that bad! It looked cute online!

I go downstairs and see this on the counter

I just start laughing so hard. DH is like what? What is it? In between my laughing hysterically I say this is what you got out of it?!

I pick it up and turn it over

We both had a good laugh out of it. I still haven't decided where exactly it will go yet. It is a bit larger than I pictured it would be, but I'll try it out in different spots to see.

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from one of the med techs at mom's memory care, saying she had been complaining of abdominal pain and they had given her some tylenol and after lunch she was still saying her stomach hurt, so they looked at her stomach area and did I know she has an umbilical hernia? I said yes she's had it quite a few years, her doctor (and previous doctor) have checked it out and always say it's fine and don't need to do anything about it, it has never bothered her. Med tech said she hadn't seen it before, so she had the m/c coordinator look at it, who knew she has it, and she thought it looks bigger....I said ok, I'll call her doctor's office (this is the doctor that goes and sees the residents at m/c) to have her come take a look at it. Well, apparently the doctor isn't available until next week....if it's an emergency she'll have to go to ER. So, I call back med tech and get voicemail and leave a message. I didn't get a call back and figured it must not be too serious of a stomach ache, or it cleared up, because they didn't call me back. I'm going to call in a little bit, after breakfast is over for them, and check in to see how she's doing.

Dh got his tailgate and canopy seal he ordered put on the pickup, so hopefully that will stop the dust (and water from rain) getting inside the canopy. He's going to also add some silicone, but needs to go get that in town, so I said we need to also refill his prescription in the next week, so we'll pick that up, too, to combine the trip. And while in town, might as well stop at the grocery store for some milk. DH has decided to eat cereal for breakfast this week, instead of an egg sandwich, so he's used more milk than I normally go through. 

Today is my dd and sil's 4th wedding anniversary. Those two sure make us happy and proud. I also love how all 4 of us stay in contact on a regular basis. We have a group messenger chat that we all participate in all the time. Last nights message was a video from dd showing her dog dropping his kong treat ball down their stairs, hoping that would shake out the treat. SIL messages things often, too, as do both dh and I. While dd and I constantly message each other all day, in a separate chat LOL, the group chat is a nice way to keep us all connected.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The comps are in

O. M. G. I received the comps from the property tax assessor via email. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's all so ridiculous. There are 5 comps. Our state does not have what a home sold for as public information, so this is "confidential" information I had to request and sign a form to get. In addition, by law, for this years (every 2 years) valuation they have to value everyone as of Jan 1, 2022, so all the sales they use are from 2020 and 2021. So, the comps they are using are 2-3 years old now.

Ok...let's start with comp#1: The home is over 200 miles away! It's part of a 500 acre "luxury golf resort" community. These are all vacation homes for people from out of state. Second, probably even 3rd homes, for them. The owner of this particular comp lives in Provo, UT.  All the homes in this luxury golf resort are expensive and high end. So....200 miles away and not even a similar type of area or community.  That home sold for $1,175,000 back in 2021. The people that are willing to pay that kind of money for that house are not going to pay that for my house, in it's location. Good grief. They are paying that much due to the quality of house, the fact that it has all the golf course/resort amenities and that it's surrounded by similar luxury homes.

Comp#2: This home is 160 miles away and sold for $519,750 in 2020, also owned as a vacation home by someone from out of state.

Comp#3: This home is 70 miles away, in a different county, as well. It sold for $825,000 in 2020. Again, owned by someone out of state.

Comp#4: This one is at least in our county! It's on a golf course (though not luxury resort golf course by ANY stretch of the imagination) and their lot is also on the river. It sold for $440,000 in 2020. So, lets look at their land and building assessed values they just got. Their river lot went up 33%. Ours went up 113%. Their building (ie home) value also went up 33%. Ours went up 44.25%.

Comp#5: Close to us, like 5 miles as the crow flies. Sold for $895,000 in 2021. 10 acres (we have 2) and a 4480 sqft house (ours is 3735) and a 2400 sq ft shop (ours is 1728 sqft). Their land value increased 21% (again, ours 113%) and their buildings value increased 24%.  Their total 2023 assessed value is $50k less than our assessed value.

Not to mention, if these are the comps used for OUR house, what the hell comps were used for our neighbors fabulous concrete log home of 5112 sq ft, that is valued at $363,000 LESS than our home? Sure, we have a shop, but it certainly is not even anywhere close to being worth $363,000, let alone they have 1377 more sq ft of house then we do. 

There is also a bunch of other somehow calculated values on the comp report, where they somehow magically adjust these comps up and down to get why my value is.

Now I am waiting for some other "request for additional residential sales data" that they use to get the value and it has to come in the mail on a USB drive. The guy said it might take a few weeks. 

I read a recent news article last night about our state property assessment system and the continued fight to try to get something on the ballot we can all vote on to limit the increases. There was an initiative last election (we both signed it) and my understanding is they got the 60,000 signatures needed, but whoever was fighting it took them to court and the judge determined that there was some "misinformation" in one of their pamphlets and thew out some of the signatures, so then they didn't have 60k to get on the ballot in time for the election. It sounds like they (headed by an attorney) are trying again and getting sued again. Follow the money, as usual. But, his reason for trying to get this on the ballot is that the people from out of state, who can well afford to outspend the locals on home prices, are running up the home values of those that actually live and are residents here. The residents that live, work, or are retired here can't afford these jacked up home values

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Off Market

So...yesterday DAN's listing for his house, the one that he's been trying to sell for almost 2 years now went off the market....OOOHH! So many possibilities as to what is going could be they are changing realtors, so it's going to get relisted (most likely), or we've seen lots of homes be for sale for awhile and unlist and then relist again soon, just so it doesn't look like they've been on the market forever (even though if you scroll down to the history, it shows it) and it shows in "newest" listings. Or they've given up on this plan of selling it and building here? Well, one can hope! HA! He still has the sanican there and also now has both is pieces of construction equipment parked in the back of the property, between some trees. He hasn't done any work in a week and a half, since he mowed down the tall grass. DH said it's really stupid to let that equipment set out like that - the packrats will be into them, eating wires, in no time. When we had the guy here with his equipment doing clearing he had to leave it overnight and the next day had to deal with a wire getting chewed through.

My uncle is just worrying about whether he should make a trip to see my mom. He mentioned it last summer, or even the spring before it. I can't remember now, it's been awhile. While in good health, he is almost 80 himself. It's either a 2 stop flight or like a 9 hour drive. I guess after he talked to her Sunday evening, he said she was really out of it, it wasn't like she really even knew what was going on. I told him that when I was there last Thursday she was fixated on calling her parents and he said yes, that's what she kept talking about and didn't seem to know who he was. 

I guess he feels some guilt that he should try to see her one last time before she's gone (or he is) but he also said he knows it would upset him a lot to see her like that and he feels like he wants to remember her as the sister he's known his whole life. I said I understand and it's really ok if he doesn't come see her. He said he even asked a therapist about it. I told him he hasn't seen her in a little over 3 years now and it would probably be a big change to him, whereas I've been seeing it gradually over that time. I said it's likely she won't recognize him (or she'll fake it) and she definitely will forget he was there as soon as we leave.

It's going to be like 20-25 degrees cooler today. DH decided he will mow today, while it's a nice cool temperature out. The new hose fitting with the on/off lever worked great and I'm back in business with my watering wand. This one seems more heavy duty, too, so hopefully it will last awhile. It came in a 2 pack ($8 per fitting) so if my other new wand I just got breaks eventually, we'll have a replacement for it.

Someone drowned in the river on Sunday and they are still looking for the body. People just need to be more careful....or less drunk...who knows. It'll probably be a week or two before the body is found, but it always creeps me out to watch the river when I know there is a body they are looking for.

Trying to keep my assistant guy busy. Once he finally got his head on straight about working, he's awesome. Too awesome, LOL. My boss has been having to try to find other stuff, for other people, for him to help. Most of last week he worked on another project for someone, so that was helpful and then by the time he was done with that last Friday, I was able to keep him busy Friday and yesterday with new work that came in last week. This morning I got my boss to scan all the commission checks and reports she had to deposit, so I'm giving him that to work on today and should take him most of the day and then she said he is off the rest of the week. Thank goodness, haha. Part of the problem is, originally my boss had planned that the person she hired could help me with financial tasks, but then she changed her mind on giving them access to our accounting software, so it really limits what I can give him to work on.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Sunset delight

So, I tried the steam mop as a hand held with an attachment to try to clean our porcelain tile shower walls and grout. It's hard to tell when it's wet, because then it looks great, LOL. I decided to do a partial area. I did the wall under the in wall shelf where dh has his soap and shampoo and the bench seat built in the corner. The top of it looks like hardened water spots the most. Well, the wall under dh's shelf ended up looking worse! How is that? LOL. It looked like dried soap was all run down the wall after I was done and let it dry to see how it looked. The top of the seat area didn't look any better, either. So, if hot steam won't clean it, what in the world will? It's all starting to look like it has a hazy film on it, which is why I want to clean it up.

With the little bit of smoky skies we are getting, last nights sunset was a beauty. Dh got a few pictures. It wasn't until after he looked at this one zoomed in a little, that he realized a bald eagle is sitting on top of the old snag tree down near the river's bank......the one I asked him to cut down because the tree always is right in the middle of me trying to take a picture of the river from our patio, LOL. Ok, keep the tree! (the eagle is about mid picture, just above the grass line, if you zoom in)

With the big eagles nest getting blown down last year, we have wondered if they have rebuilt somewhere nearby. I have been opening my office window lately, during the day, and I do hear them a lot and it sounds fairly close, so they are hanging out nearby. Just no clue where they are nesting now.  A week or so ago, I kept seeing 2 oprey's sitting on the dead tree. I think it must be a good fishing spot for the birds.

My uncle called last night at like 8pm. I was outside watering my flowers, so I missed the call. It's one of those short messages where I can tell he wants something, otherwise he would just say "oh hi, just checking in." I'm never in the mood to talk on the phone that late in the evenings, so I'll give him a call later this morning and see what he wants. I do see from my mom's landline call log he did call her a little before 7pm and talked a few minutes, so maybe it's just about that. She did call me yesterday just after lunch and said nothing about her parents, so that was good. Other than when I answered she said "are you done eating dinner?" She seems to get the meals mixed up a lot now, but I do think she knew it was just after a mealtime.

The cat was being kind of crabby yesterday, LOL. He was in a mood and spent a good hour or more up on the door ledge. Probably because earlier, our friend with the puppy stopped by and he was annoyed.

                                                      "is that stupid black puppy gone, yet?"

I had one of those naps yesterday where I could not wake up. I was even dreaming that I was trying to wake up, but couldn't get my eyes to stay open. Dinner last night was homemade pizza. I don't know why it didn't taste as good to me, but I think I got it too cheesy. I got the guest bedroom bed remade. No plans for any guests in the near future, which is ok, haha.

It appears all of my recent orders on Amazon, the past few days, have shipped out USPS instead of UPS. I'm assuming in anticipation of a strike. At least we finally have our postal carrier convinced it's ok to leave our packages at the gate, if they don't fit in our mailbox. Mostly, I'm waiting for the garden hose fitting, so I can use my watering wand again without needing dh to stand at the hydrant and turn it off and on, LOL. It's supposed to be here on Wednesday. The other thing I ordered was a bag of Harvest Delight chicken scratch treat. Dh likes to give the chickens that and of course doesn't tell me I'm getting low until the bag is empty. He also had me order some stuff to seal the tailgate and canopy door on the pickup. It's obviously got some holes, as after driving through the dusty forest service roads, the inside of the back of the pickup (inside canopy) was full of dust and dirt. Hopefully this will help fix that issue. 

I did finally find something to order with my $89 Pottery Barn rewards. It should be here this week and then I'll share a picture of it. It did end up costing me about $10 out of pocket, plus shipping. I hate paying shipping, LOL.  

I just got notification that the hose fittings are in today's mail. Yay! I can water like normal tonight! Well, hopefully.  Hopefully what we ordered will work.

I just opened my office window. It's noisy outside! So many different birds making all kinds of noise. Ravens cawing, chirping/singing birds, and now I hear a chicken bawking - must be egg laying time!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Slow Sunday

The mid 90's temperature was blown out the door yesterday for like 104. Ugh. Two more days of it and then supposed to get down into the 70s on Tuesday. I hope so. Yesterday small wildfires broke out in quite a few areas in the western part of the state.

I broke one of my favorite coffee mugs this morning. Again, likely from the fumble fingers/hands in the morning. I had set the almost empty cup near the edge of the kitchen sink, to start to make dh's egg sandwich. As I took my hand away from the mug I bumped the handle and knocked it into the sink and broke the handle off. Well, at least the mess and broken pieces went into the sink. But, I'll miss that cup, LOL. Apparently I can buy a replacement one on Ebay for $6.99. I may do that. It wasn't a cup I got with a set. I have no idea where I got it from, but it's a good size. Not too small, as most of my coffee cups seem to be and not too big as a set of mugs I have are. I do have 2 other non matching mugs I like and use along with the one I broke. I know both of these were from dd. One says coffee, in different languages all over it and the other one has the logo of her university she attended.

My new steam mop is great. I used it on the laundry room floor first. It was dirty! Then I did the kitchen and our bathroom floor and also the shower pebble/tile floor. It's easy to use and pretty lightweight and the main part detaches to use as a handheld steamer and has a bunch of attachments. I'm going to try it on the shower wall tiles and grout today. I especially like having that clean, sanitary feeling for the bathroom floor. 

Between the chicken coop cleaning, the mopping and 3 loads of laundry, I was tired and took a good long nap in the afternoon. Having a/c in the house is the best thing ever.

Not much to do today. And that's ok!

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Saturday chores

Ir's going to be in the mid 90's today. Before it gets too warm I need to get out to clean the chicken coop. I'll just wait and take a shower after, haha. Wash all the coop dust off of me. 

I just remembered I still haven't received dh's second debit card that was supposedly sent. I need to call and get it straightened out. He has my debit card that I never use and hasn't expired yet, so he has something to use, if the need arises (typically just for gas).

I'm guessing that a lot of these properties I included on my spreadsheet for comparison - who's land value went up 65% and their buildings value went up, too, aren't happy with that increase....and here I am just trying to get our increase down to what theirs increased! 

OMG - yesterday afternoon I was working on a spreadsheet I use for work. I have used it for years, but I was trying to make a change and somehow messed it up and a simple formula to add up one of the columns was not working. It made no sense. I'd tried reformatting the column. I tried copying over the same formula in the cell next to it and it would copy the value of that column. I was tearing my hair out and really not wanting to have to go back to my previously saved spreadsheet and re-enter all my data. I messaged dd, who is really good with excel and we got on a Teams chat so I could share my screen with her and she figured it out. When I tried to make the change, but then went back to the original way, it changed hidden rows that were messing it all up. Thank goodness she was able to help me, but I didn't end up getting it figured out until almost a half hour after the end of my work day. Made for a long day.

I need to do a few loads of laundry today, too. My clothes, our sheets and the sheets from the guest bed used last weekend. I'd better hop to it all.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Finally Friday

I was going to watch some tv last night, but around 6:30 I needed nap, haha! Just a busy day yesterday with work and my 2 1/4 hour quick trip to see mom and groceries. So, I took a nap until like 7:30. Then I watered the flowers. Then I chopped up some strawberries and we had strawberry shortcake for dessert. The shut off valve thingy on my garden hose with the wand (so I can water the hanging baskets) broke the evening before last. DH got the valve opened, but you can't turn it off and on. It's hard to move from hanging basket to basket without turning the water off, LOL. Makes a mess. Last night dh stood at the main shut off at the hydrant and turned it on and off for me as I moved between baskets. I'm having him find the shut off valve online so I can order one, which is much cheaper than replacing the whole thing.

My mom's state income tax check arrived in the mail yesterday morning. DH was like what is the Dept of Revenue mailing to your mom? I explained it's the rebate. He's like "you should take the check with you and show her! Show her she's getting money! LOL"  I'm like, she won't get it now...but he was insistent, LOL.I told him I know what she will say.....she'll tell me to take the money and buy something for myself. Yep, sure enough, she did, LOL! Of course I deposited it in her account.

This morning I got the latest part of my property tax appeal in the mail, to the assessor guy at the Dept of Revenue. So, I guess we will see. I'll be interested to see all the comps and data I requested from the form he sent me. I would hate to have his job! I would imagine him calling up people, like he did with me would be hard and I imagine a lot of the people he has to call aren't very happy or nice to talk to. I also scanned what I sent him in the mail and emailed it to him and he replied back that he received it.

So, as part of all the data (in a handy dandy spreadsheet!) I gathered was data on all the other 2 acre river lots in our area. There are a lot of them and every single one of them was previously valued the same as the 7 lots in our street, at just around $70k. And every single one of those lots now got assessed at between $115,000 and $117,000. Our 7 lots went up to almost $150,000. We are the only 2 acre lots that high. On the form I filled out I had to put what I think the values should be, so for the land I put $116,000. For our building value, I put it at the same percentage increase (17.3%) that our neighbors had their very nice/similar home increased by. (Ours was increased by 44.25%). Seems fair to me. And if we can't come to an agreement, well then I guess I move it on to the next step, which is an appeal hearing with our county tax appeal board. In my opinion, unless there was some specific addition or improvement done to a home, then comparable properties should increase the same % across the board. Not to mention, the property/house that is the next nearest neighbor to our neighborhood? I was told by the assessor that since we don't actually have river access, being so high up, we are considered "river view" property. Well this nearest neighbor is on the other side of the road from the river, he has a river view (better than our view is) from his house. His 14 acres literally went up $2 and ours more than doubled.

I also need to see about getting a phone chat scheduled with our company 401k advisor. My returns just SUCK! I have some money invested in my HSA (through a different company). It's about 1/12th of what I have in my 401k and that has earned more in total dollars return, than my 401k has in the same time period! That's just ridiculous. My mom's "conservative" investments have earned more than my 401k is returning. I don't get it. I'm going to check into that next week. Find out from my boss who I need to talk to. Honestly, since we moved to this company a several years ago, I have barely earned anything on my 401k.

The night before last I watched the first episode of Justified: City Primeval and then I found that movie jj recommended with Timothy Olyphant called This is Where I Leave You. That was a good movie, I enjoyed it, so thanks for the recommendation :)  I didn't end up watching any tv last night, but will get to the 2nd episode tonight, most likely. Dh is usually watching racing on his computer, especially Friday and Saturday evenings, so I can watch my shows. 

Tomorrow, I need to get some of my laundry done and also want to try out my new steam mop. I also need to get the chicken coop cleaned out. Since dh mowed the lawn on Wednesday, he shouldn't need to mow it this weekend. The hot weather we are now having is slowing down how fast it grows, so he can go like 6 days in between mowings now.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

A bit of a depressing day

I see our fellow beloved and funny blogger Sluggy is having some health issues and won't be able to blog for at least awhile. I do so pray and hope she finds some answers and sooner rather than later. Dealing with neurologists and trying to get appointments is so hard and stressful.

I took my extended lunch break today to stop in and see my mom and get groceries. I couldn't park in the memory care parking lot as they had it block off for re-sealing. Cars were parking along the street sidewalk and I was going to park there but it looked like they had the sidewalk blocked off, too, for some reason. So, I went around the block to take a better look and saw a worker walking in along the side of the parking lot and then over to another section of the sidewalk along the front of the building. Otherwise I was going to have to drive clear around to the front of the whole facility (where the independent and assisted living part is) and walk clear through the whole place to get back to memory care. I found a spot to park on the side of the street and went in the usual memory care entrance, but all that delayed me a good 5 minutes or more.

Mom was having a very confused day. She was sitting in her room in her recliner when I got there. I know she knew she knew me, but apparently she still wasn't certain who I was, as she asked my name. But, then she'd say "I've been thinking of calling you but I'm not sure I have your number". Then she commented she hasn't been able to call her parents either....but then she said "well, I guess they are probably gone by now" and I said yes. So, pretty much the whole 25 minutes I was there it was just a repeated conversation about my phone number and calling her parents. Bummer. Sometimes she'd mention calling her parents and says "but they are probably gone, right?" and other times she'd say "have you heard from them in awhile?" When she'd say that I'd just say no, not for awhile now. I haven't heard her mention her parents since that first week we moved her in.

So, that was kind of a depressing visit. My grocery pick up was quick and easy and straight back home to unload and back to work. It's always nice to have more dinner choices after grocery shopping, LOL, then getting down to the end and well....we have this left to eat, haha.

It's hot out, low 90's. One thing that is better about the memory care place is the a/c. The whole place and her room is so much more comfortable than her apartment at the senior living place was. She had a wall unit that did heat and a/c and of course she was forever messing with it, plus it didn't do that great of job to keep it cooler, so this place is much better. I can go into her room at this place and be totally comfortable. I'm never feeling like it's so warm I can barely stand it, like before (winter or summer).

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Work in progress Wednesday

I just read an email from one of the manufacturer's we rep that UPS may be going on strike the first of August, if they can't come to a resolution with the union workers. Guess that ties in with our driver telling us about the $5 an hour paycut. I just mentioned this to dh and he said he talked to our driver again and he said they are close to an agreement, so very unlikely to go on strike.

One of my favorite shows from years ago was Justified. (Timothy Olyphant - enough said). Last night started a new series, set 15 years later. I'm so excited, LOL. I've set it to record (it was on at like 11pm). My SIL is excited too, he really liked that show. I swear dh watched that show with me, or at least watched some of it. He swears he didn't and I showed him some clips and he still swears he has never seen it.  I see that 2 episodes aired last night, so I will have 2 to watch this evening :)

The extra lights I ordered for the shop, underneath the lofts, arrived by delivery truck bright and early this morning. It wasn't even 7:30 yet. Luckily dh was up already, which is rarely ever the case, but he had decided to get up early to wash the truck. He didn't do it yesterday because by the time he was up and ready to do it, it was too hot out.

Usually I work from 7:30 to 4:30 (which is 6:30-3:30 my company time zone). Our "office hours" are 7 to 4. I hardly ever really take a full hour lunch. This week I decided to just wait and start at 8am my time and still be done at 4:30. That gives me a half hour break, if I want to take it. No sense in giving my company more than 8 hours per day. I'm not getting paid for it.  

My ribs hurt! It started on Monday and my only guess is it was from riding in the truck up (and down) that mountain road. At a couple points it was super rocky and bumpy and we were getting bounced around pretty good. That's the only thing I can come up with. I don't know what else would cause this, but it's still bothering me this morning. Weird.

My new steam mop did arrive yesterday. I haven't even taken it out of the box yet, but will give it a try soon. I don't have time during the work day and don't feel like mopping after working all day and then making dinner. 

I've tried calling my mom a couple times this week, morning and afternoon, but no luck. I guess I'll have to try early evening. I just hate trying to talk to her then. I'm tired and talking to anyone on the phone, let alone someone with dementia, is not high on my list of something I want to do. Plus, I'll be seeing her tomorrow when I stop in. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Puppy cuteness

With our recent summer propane fill up, with the price per gallon being less than last summer, I saved about $125, which was nice for a change. I just got in the mail the contract for the winter. It is .40/gallon less than last winter's contract and at 500 gallons that's another $200 savings. That is helpful, as well. 

Our friend with the new lab puppy stopped by yesterday. She is so cute. He is working with her. She was a bit worn out because they had been out in the field he goes to to shoot at gophers. He wanted to get her used to the sound of gun shots. Then when he got to our gate (he always just parks out there and walks in) he put her on a leash to help her get used to that. She spent most of the visit asleep at my feet, LOL.

                                            The cat wasn't too impressed with the cuteness

She's going to be a good dog, but again, that's because she will be by his side just about everywhere he goes. She won't be left alone to be bored, get into trouble, etc.

DH rested up yesterday. Today he plans to wash the truck. Pretty dusty and dirty and bugs from two day of driving and exploring.

I need to go see my mom and get groceries. I'm thinking I might just take a long lunch break on Thursday and do it. Won't be a long visit with mom, but there's really no reason to make the visits long, anyway. She literally has no idea if I've been there 5 minutes or 50 minutes. I can make the trip in about 2 1/2 hours, maybe a little less, depending on how long of wait at Walmart pickup. Then I don't have to go on the weekend. 

One of the things I ordered on Amazon Prime day was a set of 3 kitchen knives, which arrived yesterday. I tried one when slicing a tomato for dinner last night and it's awesome, LOL. Very sharp. And can't beat $8 for 3 sharp knives in different sizes. I also ordered a steam mop, which I'm excited to get and try out.

I only had to take care of one question yesterday that would have gone to my boss and it was a super easy one about expense reports. And the guy was good enough to know not to cc my boss with one more email (because you know she will read emails while off this week). I try to not email her when she's on vacation.

I don't know what is going on with my dh's debit card, through Paypal. His was expiring, so a new one was sent out, which we never got. About 10 days or so ago I reported it as not received and requested another one and still haven't gotten that, though got an email to remind me to activate it. Grrr. I guess I'll have to call and try again.

My mom still hasn't gotten her state tax rebate, so it must have gotten mailed for some reason, but hasn't shown up yet. 

Near the boat launch in our area is a rafting company that has been there since we've lived here. I heard they are selling/going out of business because there just isn't enough business or it could be because they just can't find workers. They always seemed very busy all summers before. Next door to that is the 3x tried B&B. I'm sure that place (as always) is experiencing the same thing. In the 5 years we've been here it's sold 2x. First it was just a regular B&B, then it was some yoga retreat. That lady owned it less than a year and sold it last year. Now it's a "lodge" B&B for going on guided fishing trips. I never see any guest cars there and the boat always seems to be parked on the trailer. I doubt they will last long either. Farther on down someone has set up a little prefab type cabin as an AirBnB. I never see any cars there, either, but they must be getting guests, as when we went by there on Sunday, there was a second cabin added. I just found their ad on Expedia and it's $250/night.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Full weekend

That was a busy weekend, with our friends here. They got here at 8:30 Saturday morning and then we hopped in our truck and went into town to have breakfast. Then we took about a 90 minute drive to our destination. It was scenic (but then, what isn't around here, LOL). The place was packed with people, apparently some annual weekend event going on, but it was still fun. Kind of a big history museum. The highlight was dh peeking inside an old schoolhouse and an old gentleman and lady inside saying come on in. So we did. This schoolhouse had been moved there to display/preserve. This 87 year old gentleman had attended this school 80 years ago. There was even a picture on the wall of the class when he was 7 years old. DH chatted with him and he asked dh what he did for a living and when dh told him his eyes lit up with a big smile and he said "me too!". So then they chatted about that. It was fun to see his eyes light up and smile and I'm sure dh made his day. 

We took a bit of a different route home and stopped at a diner for a late lunch/early dinner. I'm not even sure what time we got home, I never paid attention to the clock. We just spent the rest of the evening visited until bedtime. 

It was also a hot weekend, in the 90s. They weren't planning on heading home until later afternoon, so after we had breakfast and got ready we decided to see if we could get up to this lookout tower nearby. Not really far away, but since it's a forest service road with switchbacks all the way up, it was slow going. We had been up there with dd and sil back in 2017 but the gate at the last 2 miles was closed, so we hiked it. Dh had heard it was now open, so we hoped it was because there was no way we were hiking it this time (friend has a bad hip, dh was too tired, as well as me). The gate was closed, but the guys checked and it wasn't locked so we got through. It was worth the trip for the 360 views at 7300 ft in elevation.

The funny part of the trip is about 1/3 of the way up a forest service truck came up behind us, so dh pulled over to let them pass. Not too long after that we came up upon them with a flat tire. There were 3 of them in the truck, all young, like mid 20's, if that. Not a single one of them knew how to change a tire let alone even get the hubcap off. DH and friend had to show them.

Friends left around 3pm and both dh and I were worn out. I took a nap and when I got up dh was napping. Then my Texas friend texted about if we still wanted to meet them in Colorado for this train ride thing. We had talked about it when they were here in May, but no definite plans/time was made. She wants to go early August, so just a couple weeks away. I said, sure, we'd still like to go, so she said she'll figure out the details today, but sounds like we'd get there Thursday, do the train ride Friday, and then Saturday just do some other sight seeing and head home Sunday. It's about the same distance for each of us to get there, about an hour longer trip for us. It's like a 13 or so hour drive for us. I'm going to try to convince dh to do it in 2 days, instead of one, at least going down there.

My boss is on vacation this week, so in some ways it will be quieter for me and likely in some ways not, as I end up getting emails to help put out little fires that she normally would have.  

The weather has really cooled down today and supposed to rain a little. 

The more I'm thinking on it this morning, right now, I think we're going to pass on going to Colorado. For us to be gone 5 days, even 4, I don't have anyone to take care of my chickens, and not sure I want to leave the cat alone for that long. Sure, I guess I could do what my friend does, set out several litter boxes and bowls of food and water, but to me that seems like a long time to leave him by himself.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Scissor time

DH got most of the windows washed. What he had the energy for and what he could reach from the regular ladder. The two windows in front, up above the patio cover are almost impossible to get to, and of course the dirtiest. We're still trying to figure out the best/safest way to do those two windows. He can't even reach with a long pole, because of the porch roof. He was pretty worn out. We have a lot of windows, plus he did outsides, too.

He was chatting with our UPS guy yesterday when he made a delivery. He said the UPS corporate execs are giving themselves a BILLION dollars for bonus's, while they are asking the drivers (not sure if this is just in our area or all over) to take a $5/hr pay cut.  

I received my state income tax rebate in my account this morning, but my mom's hasn't shown up yet, though her says processed the same day as mine. And we bank at the same bank, LOL.

I had a nice chat with one of my co-workers yesterday. She is not new to the company, but she is a bit new to her position and is still learning/figuring things out. She called me up yesterday to ask some questions on a process related to her job. She first greeted me and asked me how it's going and I said it's good, how are you? She said well....not the greatest. I said well, then let's see what we can do to fix that for you! She was like oh gosh, you are the best. Anyhow we talked through some procedures. She was really feeling like she's adding more work to me and I assured her she's really not, but I can tell on her end she is dealing with more. I think mostly she was worried that when she has to deal with issues and keep me in the loop for billing purposes, she is bothering me and I assured her this is normal for these particular customers. 

The excessive property tax assessments are starting to make a hubbub throughout the state. Democratic lawmakers are calling for the governor to do a special session to address it. Republicans are blaming the Dems. The Dept of Revenue is blaming the lawmakers, the state is blaming the counties. I've read articles that try to spin it "well, your taxes aren't "likely" to go up that much (sure....). Or that be careful might have your assessment increase more! (good scare tactic). The governor is apparently balking at a special session, saying they tried to work with the Dems earlier on it and they didn't want to and that we are getting the $675 property tax rebate. I have seem many comments that this rebate is not a fix to the permanent problem. Nor was it intended to, in my opinion. They had a surplus of funds in the state coffers so did an income tax rebate and a property tax rebate. The concern and anger over the issue does seem to be building momentum, though. I hope these counties and/or the dept of revenue are bombarded with appeals. There are 2 ways to appeal, you can appeal to county board or request an "informal review" by the DOR. I opted to appeal to the county board.

The more assessed values I research and add to my spreadsheet the less and less it seems fair or makes sense. There is a neighborhood of river properties about 1.3 to 2 acres of "medium" high bank river. There are 20 lots. The first 4 lots land increased that 65% I'm seeing for most river lots all over the county. Then the rest of the 16 lots all only increased 3%. Why?! How is the lot that went up 65% any different than the lot next to it that went up 3%? All the lots are part of the same neighborhood, on the same street. Just makes zero sense. In the next town from us, but still in our county, there is a large neighborhood of approx 2 acre lots all along the river, low bank, so all usable/buildable properties. All of them went up 55%. At a minimum they'd better reduce our increase to the 65% every other river lot went up.

And then another recent article where they interviewed someone from the Dept of Revenue, who said it's not their fault. They are just doing what our state law says they have to do - appraise every 2 years at MARKET value. Yet...there are homes and property for sale (and likely lots that have sold in the past year) that are for sale WAY more than what they just got appraised for. There are lots for sale (like 20 acre lots) of recreation type lots (most have vacation/second homes, on the lots built there). The land, for 20 acres is appraised at $1100....yet they are listing it for $200k, presumably that's what they and their realtor are thinking market value is - and likely at least $100,000. Certainly not $1100 fricken dollars. Give me a break. There is likely nowhere in this whole country you could buy 20 acres for $1100. And  especially not in Montana, with access to a lake (as these 20 acres have). The DOR person also said they use comps of sold property, so when I am at my hearing, I am going to request the comps used to value my home.

Dh is mowing the lawn again today. He probably could have waited one more day, but we have friends coming tomorrow morning for the weekend, so he needs to get it done today. I'm going to use my lunch break today to vacuum, haha. Other than that the house is clean for guests. We're also supposed to have hot sunny weather this weekend. I may run into the store this afternoon, after work for a few things. We're going to be out and about most of Saturday, so I'm sure we'll eat out, but I'm trying to figure what to do for breakfast Sunday. I think I'll just make some blueberry muffins and scrambled eggs, but I'd kind of like to pick up some fruit to go with. Maybe some juice.

I also trimmed my hair after showering this morning and tried a new method to layer (youtube, of course). Its a much easier method, but I was being cautious on how much to cut, so I think I need to do a little more. But, I'll give styling a try first before I decide to do more.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Window washing Wednesday

A temporary fix to the flashing cell tower strobe light as well as hopefully a permanent fix. I guess dh had submitted an online complaint for with the FCC before he figured out how to contact the cell tower owner. Thinking it could be weeks or months, if at all, to hear back from the FCC, LOL.  Well, a guy called yesterday afternoon. He looked the tower up and said it's already been reported and they have until August 1st to fix it. Almost 3 more weeks, but better than nothing.

Dh did just get an email from the company that owns the tower. It says they are aware of the lighting malfunction and he's contacting the lighting service team to go out there and fix, but materials for the repair have to be ordered and may take some time to get in stock. Um...if you were already aware of the issue, prior to dh's contacting you, why didn't they get the materials ordered then? Apparently they wait for more complaints, I guess. He said they would also check to see if there is something they can do remotely to turn it off.

Then dh tried moving our patio table with the umbrella over so that the upright umbrella (not open) blocks the sight of the tower from his pillow. Or so we thought. Good grief - it just won't stop! The light somehow makes its way around the umbrella, LOL.

Mr Neighbor did finally mow yesterday, but he's always mowed their front manicured lawn with his walk behind and uses his riding mower for the rest. This time he mowed the front with his riding mower, so I'm guessing he's not feeling well, or something. Still not going to ask if everything is ok, because if they said "oh why do ask that?" we certainly wouldn't want to say well, noticed your lawn....We're not concerned about how their yard looks, but like I said it was more just concern that something is wrong. 

Speaking of yards, I snapped this picture of all my fence line daylilies in bloom, on my way to the mailbox yesterday morning.

DH is having *fun washing windows today.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Blinded by the light

I watched our work meeting via Teams yesterday. Glad I didn't make a trip for it in person. That would have been a lot of time for a 90 minute meeting that really wasn't that big of deal. I see no one from our satellite office made the trip either and neither did 2 of our other out of state remote employees. Sales are down 35%, so not good news at all. It's an economy issue, not a company issue. Commercial building projects and TI's are down, so our sales related to them are down. While our sales are down 35%, the sales we have made have been at higher margins then last year, so our income itself is only down 16%, so not super bad, in that regard.

Today I'm doing payroll, so that will keep me busy a good part of the day. Apparently the lady who handles our account with the payroll company we use is out on maternity leave - you'd think that would be something she'd tell her clients was happening and info on who is handling her work while she's out....

I made a little list of things to look up on Amazon Prime day today, but none of it is on sale. One thing is at only like 15% off. It was a wish, not a need, so I'll pass.  

Still waiting on my state income tax rebate. 

The dark towel trying to cover the patio door window doesn't help. It actually seems like the light is now worse/brighter the last couple of nights, unless we are imagining it! Now the whole outside corner of our house (where bedroom is) is lit up and flashing, where before it seemed like it was just more a concentrated small amount of flashing light on the pillow (which it still is, but now seems extended, more spread out.) The FCC regulates cell towers. Dh drove over to the cell tower to see if he could get any #'s from it. Well, sure, they have an info sign on a fence at the bottom of it....but there's another fence at the road, 50 feet back, so you can't read the sign. Dh tried to zoom in with his camera on his phone and took a few pics, but of course even trying to see them on our computer screen, it blurs out when you enlarge. He was able to make out some of the #'s and did a google search with those numbers and got lucky and found some info on who owns the cell tower and a ph# so he was able to call and talk to someone. They said they will check into it and call him back. The company that now owns it (I guess they are new owners of it) is out of Texas or somewhere, not local. DH said ok, so I don't need to call the FCC, then? They said no, sir, please don't do that. We will look into it.

According to what dh has been able to research, during the day cell towers flash the white light, but at night it's supposed to change to a red flashing light, which is what this cell tower has always done, up until the past 2-3 weeks. No clue why it changed. Maybe it's something as simple as the red light burned out, so the white light stays on 24/7 now. 

Nothing new going on this week at DAN's next door. He seems to do something for a day or two, then nothing for a week or more, then does something for a day or two. Not quite the schedule you want to get something built, LOL.

Also wondering what is going on with Mr&Mrs Neighbors lawn. It has always been beautifully perfect and he's always mowed every 5 days or so, like dh. He hasn't mowed in almost 2 weeks. They're also have not been watering it. Yesterday he did mow his large dog kennel run area. It was getting so deep with grass (it's not lawn, just natural grasses/weeds). He's also apparently not been picking up the dog poop (3 big dogs are in there all day) like he normally does. Their kennel runs parallel to the fence in our backyard and when dh was mowing over there yesterday afternoon, he said it's really smelly over there. This is not like them at all, but we certainly aren't going to ask! More just wondering if he's feeling ok, but again, at this point, asking if everything is ok would just be construed as us complaining. 

When we had our propane tank filled up last week, the guy didn't leave the receipt slip, like he usually does, so I didn't know how much it was per gallon this summer. A couple days later, though, I was able to log into my account online and see the info. It was at $1.70/gallon, which isn't too bad, I guess. Last summer it was $2.04. 

Monday, July 10, 2023

Start of another week

The highlight of my day yesterday was finally unclogging my bathroom sink, LOL. A couple weeks ago I tried pouring some boiling water down, hoping that would break it up. I tried the boiling water again yesterday with no luck. Decided to look under the laundry room sink to see if I had any Drano and I did, so I poured that down and waited 30 min and then poured more boiling water, but still clogged. Eventually, I realized it was just from a big gunk of hair not too far down into the drain and I got it out and no more clog.

We received the coiled garden hose and it's really helpful. I'm able to reach the flower pots in front of the garage and shop, as well as 2 of the pots out in the center island of the driveway. This saves me 3 trips of carrying the water bucket and a definite help for my back. No back pain after watering the last 2 days. Also, having the pillow behind my back on my office chair also seems to be helping my back pain.

DH got the lawn mowed yesterday. He's really really liking this mulching attachment, plus leaving the clippings is good for the lawn health too. And good for his health! Less work not having to empty the bags several times and figure out where to put all the clippings every 5 days. He's not having his muscles so worn out. 

Not gonna lie, I'm kind of glad I'm not having to deal with being over at the office today, LOL. Mostly not spending probably what would have been an hour and a half drive from dd's in the morning to get to the office and at least that driving back up to her place in the afternoon. I think today's meeting will be something I can watch/listen via Teams. The big meeting room they use is all set up for that kind of thing now.

I'm slowly getting the bins and a box of old old paperwork thrown out, as our garbage space allows it. I have a box in the corner under my desk I am working on now. The two bins are in the guest bedroom closet, next to my office. I've gotten most of the paperwork out of them, but still have a bunch of misc crap to go through. I'm wanting to get it down and able to combine into one bin. The box under my desk will end up completely gone.

It's been so dark and gray out this morning and it just started raining. I'm hoping it will turn into enough rain that I don't have to water flowers tonight. Well, I guess I spoke too soon, because the rain only lasted very briefly, not enough to do much watering.

Another thing on my to-do list today was to text my half sis a happy birthday. She is 2 years younger than me. I figured I'd better do it first thing this morning or I'd get busy all day and end up forgetting. 

The other day, when I was messaging my boss about having lunch near her home (work from home Fridays) when I come over in September, I was wondering about where she lives in proximity to when I used to live in her town, during 6th-8th grade. I couldn't remember my address from then, but knew how to find it on a google map and then saw that the place actually sold a year ago, so I looked through the listing. Wow! what a difference. So, summer before 6th grade we moved to this place. It was this nice large mobile home park of all new and nice doublewides where you purchased your small lot. My parents bought in their expanded new section, and if I recall, it was a display home on a lot they purchased. This would have been 1975. I see from the listing it's a 1974 mobile home. OMG. Almost 40...NO! 50 years later! I'm honestly surprised it's even the same mobile home sitting there! The whole area of homes has gotten a bit run down and dated looking, but overall, not too bad. I wouldn't even recognize this as the one we lived in. It's been totally updated over time. I seem to recall it was yellow outside. Now it's an off white color and totally resided with vinyl siding and some fake brick look. It still has a carport off the front end, but it's a much nicer one. I really don't remember exactly what our carpet and walls looked like (I just mostly remember the floor plan) but since it was a mobile home in 1975 I'm pretty sure we had the fake wood panel walls and I want to say green or gold shag carpet. That has all been redone and the kitchen is very nice and looks like they extended it a bit into the family room and added a small island. We had this tiny strip of lawn behind us (the mobile was situated lengthwise on the lot) and a steep hill behind us. My parents had put ivy all over the hill. In front we had a tiny bit of lawn with shrubs and a little wood type decorative fence. The front is very overgrown with shrubs, I don't see any lawn or fence. The back side, instead of the little strip of lawn is a nice deck all across the back, with a small enclosed shed type room added to the back laundry room door and the deck extends around the corner to the end of the house. The steep hill is really nicely terraced with blocks and lots of plants. The master bedroom has sliding doors to the deck, as does one of the end bedrooms. These were definitely not there back in 1975, LOL. I have no idea what my parents paid for it and the lot back in 1975, but it sold a year ago for $360,000.

From there we moved to a condo. I decided to look that up. I actually found an old listing/pics from when the actual condo unit we lived in sold back in 2015. It pretty much looked the same, other than the living room now had hard flooring instead of carpet and the bathrooms updated. Again, I can't remember what my parents paid for that condo back in 1978 (it was brand new). I want to say $60k range, but that seems high, I think, maybe it was $40k. It's worth about $375K now. Some of the other units, that I can see recent listing pics have been updated very nicely. The place had a nice clubhouse and pool that we used often. Kind of fun to look at the pictures. I lived there from 9th grade until I was almost 21 and got married. I think my parents sold it and moved in 1986.

DH got called to be on jury duty again this year. It's for a year (crazy). He never got even called in at all last year, but decided this time to send in a request to be excused. With his prostate issue, as well as muscle condition, he needs bathroom breaks all the time, as well as it's hard for him to sit for very long periods or his muscles stiffen up. He just doesn't need the stress. The form he filled out asked for medical records. He just put in it he has 2 medical conditions that make it very hard to sit for very long without breaks and he's not supplying his private medical records. He just got a notification in the mail that he has been permanently excused.


Saturday, July 8, 2023

Sleepness night

I did not get good sleep last night. This stupid flashing light from the cell tower is so annoying. Like I said, it literally flashes right on dh's pillow. So, he now sleeps in the middle of our king sized bed, so basically almost up against me. I cannot stand someone up against me while sleeping. Especially since I hurt my neck and back years ago, I need to turn over several times during the night and hate turning over right into his face. And last night he was snoring. I got up at 3am to use the bathroom and could not get back to sleep. He can't turn or move over or he's got the stupid light flashing on him. So, I got up and went upstairs to sleep the rest of the night.

The blinds built in our patio doors do not help with this light, it makes it worse. It blocks the light shining on his pillow, but then the whole door blind just flashes all night. I do NOT want to hang curtains at all. I have windows right on each side of the patio doors, so there is really no way to hang curtains that would look good. While trying to fall back asleep at 3:30 this morning I came up with an idea to try. Some suction cups to the door window with something attached. A piece of cardboard or dark fabric, something. Something that can be removed during the day. Then when I got up this morning I remembered I have some suction cups I didn't use from my new hummingbird feeders. I'm going to try something tonight to see if it works. DH needs to move back to his side of the bed, LOL.

DAN worked all day yesterday and left just before 5pm. He got quite a bit done. Basically mowed most of his 2 lots and the median area between the 2 roads. His properties had several old fallen trees that he also had to use a chain saw to get cut up and out of his way. I will say he was good though, when he was all done, to get out his leaf blower and blow all the grass off the street, even where it got onto our part. He still hasn't taken the no trespassing sign out that sits between our 2 lots near the back of the lot.

I'm feeling very lazy today (probably due to interrupted sleep). I did end up sleeping an hour later than usual, so that helped some. I need to do a load of laundry. Other than that, I really don't have anything planned, especially now that I don't have to go to that work meeting on Monday. I guess just enjoy the quiet weekend before we have company again next weekend. I may take next Friday off work - to go see my mom and get groceries again, other wise it will be 3 weeks in between trips to the city.

Does anyone have a 3D printer? They seem like they are getting really inexpensive and so cool! But, I'd probably have no clue how to use it. On one of the decor pages I follow on facebook this lady shared a horse statue she made from a 3D printer and then painted it. So cool. Plus, what would a regular person make very often from one of them, anyway? 

Friday, July 7, 2023


I'm kind of relieved I don't have to make the 430 mile trip on Sunday, now. But, that's just me being a homebody. There's obviously not going to be any mid year bonus's to hand out at the meeting, or apparently even any "discretionary" bonus's, because I have been given nothing about it for payroll purposes. Our discretionary bonus's are when our executive managers decide some people still get a bonus, even though we didn't meet all our sales goals. In the past I have gotten both the discretionary and the sales related bonus. Even though I do not budget for the bonus for my regular monthly expenses, it's still something I have regularly received in the past and used for other things we want to purchase, or in the case of last year, used to pay off our sidexside in 6 months. It's also kind of a bit hit to my income all around this year, with losing most of my side job income and also the bonus from my regular job. And of course, no raise this year.

If you need to order some pet supplies and use Rakuten, today is a good day to do it. Petsmart is having a 1 day 20% off online orders and Rakuten is offering 10% cash back. Free shipping over $49. I need cat litter and may just stock up on another big bag of cat food.

Amazon Prime day(s) is coming soon. There is one item I'm going to see if it's on sale for Prime day - it's a cat "cave bed". I should try to make a list of things I can think of, that we buy regularly or something we've been thinking of buying, to see if they go on sale. Every year when this sale comes I can never think of anything I need or want, as I never plan ahead for it. I wonder if they put any artificial Christmas trees on sale, LOL. That's the only thing I can think I've been wanting another one of.

Good grief - so I had the cat litter in my Petsmart cart (signed into my account) and left it there while I was taking care of some other things. Went back to finish up the order and it had logged me out. Now it will not log me back in. Why are all these business's online order system (yesterday was Walmart's) such a PITA to try to order anything? It really gets old.

DAN is finally back today, with a different piece of equipment. Today he has a mower attachment on it. He's going down along side our fence line, which is good. DH used to mow that, before he purchased the land. Just mowed a wide strip on the other side to keep the tall natural grass and weeds from growing through the wire fence. When they first bought the property dh mentioned he had been mowing that part (previous owner was fine with that, he never came out to the property or ever did anything with it) and DAN said "oh no problem!". Then of course after the fight with him and the no trespassing sign pointed at our lot, dh doesn't mow that strip anymore. Well, like dh just said...after we keep hearing these big loud thunks as he's hitting big rocks...the problem with letting it grow that long is you now can't see where the big rocks/boulders are. But, at least he's getting it mowed down. DH used to also mow the median area between our street and the main road. Mr mows out in front of his property, dh does ours and just to make the whole street look nice, would continue on down the next 3 empty lots and of course he's not doing that anymore either. Dh had done it enough times (though he just has a john deere tractor mower) that he knows where the big rocks are to avoid hitting with his mower.

When dd's boss is off work, he's been putting her as the manager in charge. She said last week they had an afternoon get together offsite for the dept. The manager was going to be off the rest of the day and the next day. One of the employees joked "am I in charge the rest of the afternoon?" and mgr said "no, dd is" and the employee says, "but that's not until tomorrow" and mgr says "still dd...." LOL.


Thursday, July 6, 2023

I'm glad it's Thursday and not the Tuesday it feels like

Over the long weekend I was all done or caught up watching the shows I was in to. Got done with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Finished the last episode of Silo's season 1 on Appletv. Now what? But yesterday I got a notification that season 2 of The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix is starting today. What good shows are you watching?

Our new friends who came over for the day, a month ago, are coming back weekend after next. They want to show us this museum they have been to before, up north of us, about 100 miles, so definitely an all day trip. I'm guessing they will spend the night at our house on Saturday, then. I don't have all the details yet, dh and him just started planning it yesterday. and they're guys...they don't care about details, LOL.

Oh, and Monday while I was in the city - ya, I totally forgot about closing that Wells Fargo checking account. I remembered when I was driving by it...but I didn't have the account info with me and just decided I'll transfer the money out and then call and close it next week. I need to wait until the next statement runs on the 7th, so I don't incur any bank fee. I'm sure they could have found my account from my name and social security #, but I didn't feel like spending a half hour in there. Plus I really didn't want the cash from it, because then I'd have to go over to my bank and deposit it. Just too much work, LOL.

We've seen very little of Mr&Mrs Neighbor since their son and family left last Saturday. Usually outside mowing and yard work. Or they're coming and going during the day and their dogs bark. Or at least get the dogs out of the kennel to the front yard to play fetch. Dh said they are probably trying to recover after 3 weeks of 6 guests and one dog, LOL. Plus, their lawn, which normally looks so green and lush  and perfect, sure isn't looking too good. They pay a lawn service to treat their lawn, so this surprises me.

I just walked to the mailbox and put our property tax appeal paperwork in the mail. I was researching neaby homes/property. So, the guy down the road (our next nearest neighbor to our neighborhood), while not on the river, he's across the street from it, up on a bit of a hill. Has a fabulous view of the river (better than our view) and his land value only went up $2. That's not a typo. Two dollars. Our property more than doubled. Makes no sense whatsoever. There is a large neighborhood of homes on the river about 3 miles from us. Most all the lost are just under an acre, lower bank river property. So, basically these lots are extremely comparable to each other, right? You go along looking at each's land value (not building, because there are many different homes, some nice, some not so nice) and they're increasing around 64% and then one of the parcels right in between all of them increases 6%. Then back to the average 64% increase and then 3 that actually went down 25%. One guy owns 3 lots, all same size next to each other. Two increased and one went down.

I just about gave myself a heart attack. I went to get my wallet out of my purse and it wasn't there. Oh no, did I leave it at the last store I was at on Monday? Think last stop was for the fruit at the grocery store. I usually just carry my wallet in, not my whole purse. I know I had it to pay, obviously, and I only had a few things so I didn't have a cart that I might have left it in. Ok, I must have just left it in my car, so I just ran down the stairs to check and sure enough, it's laying on the passenger seat. Whew!

Now, I'm trying to place an online order with Walmart (dh ran out of shaving cream) and I added a few things to get over the $35 free shipping minimum and can't get my dang order to go through. It keeps saying an error occurred, try again in a few minutes. Annoying. I've tried like 6 times. 

And as I'm trying to get this order to submit, suddenly it now shows it's below the $35 min order by .54 cents. I see a little notification "one of our items just had a price drop" Good lord. Just let me put my order in. Now I have to find something else to get it over $35. Finally, now my order went through. 

I'm having a bit of a frustrating day. Work wise, too.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Lovely peace and quiet

Completely quiet 4th of July here. I didn't even hear any fireworks off in the distance. The weather was a nice comfortable low 70's, too.

My cheesecake turned out amazing. Sooo good. I'm had a piece for breakfast, LOL.

Now if we could get past this property tax appeal process....dh is just obsessing over it. Finally, last night I'm like let's just take a break from it. I'm mailing the appeal and we then just have to wait to hear when the hearing is. But, it sounds like a lot of people aren't too happy about the huge increases. You hear more about it from city news sources, rather than out where we are, but dh sent me a link to a news article about a couple who own a very modest home on one acre outside the city, about 10 miles or so. Retired, fixed income (though really, who isn't on a fixed income? I work yet still my income is basically fixed, too.). But the guy is like where am I going to suddenly find an extra $200 a month? He said, of course he expects some reasonable increase each cycle, but not 40-50%. A commenter on the article had a very good point: Most of us homeowners aren't playing the housing market. We're not trying to buy low and sell high. We're being taxed on unrecognized gains. How is that fair? That would be like my mom's retirement account getting taxed on what the market is at the end of a year, even though it's all just speculative and no gains would be realized until the stocks are actually sold. I shouldn't be taxed at a high rate until I actually sell my home. Then I should pay and then the new owner should pay based on what they were willing to pay for the property. I didn't build a million dollar home - because I can't afford a million dollar home, yet now I will be taxed as one. 

DAN still hasn't done anymore on his lot - what's it been? like 2 weeks now? Dh says he's been driving in most days, though...I guess to check on his sanican? or maybe to make sure his mini excavator is still sitting where he left it. DH said that whole "job" he spent 2 weeks on is literally like a 4 hour job to put in a culvert. If he's keeping the sanican, he must plan on doing more.

Hmmm...decisions decisions. Week before last, when getting the email from my boss about the July 10th company meeting, I messaged back I'll just drive over for it (it was still optional if I want to go) but that I would need to do payroll this Friday instead of next Tuesday, as I'd be driving home on Tuesday, is that ok with her? I never got her reply. So, I messaged her about it this morning and she said she forgot to reply, but was going to give me another option - come over for this company customer event mid September. That actually sounds much funner, so I'm going to go that date instead. My boss lives about half the distance between the office and dd's, where I'll be Friday (while dd works) and usually my boss works from home on Fridays, so I just asked her if she will likely be working from home that Friday, I'd like to meet her somewhere near her house for lunch. She said she'd love that, so that's the plan. That will give us a good chance to just visit and catch up. We never seem to have time to do that when I go over for meetings because she is always so busy getting ready for the meeting or event we are having.

Our propane delivery guy just called. He'll be at neighbors today and wanted to see if we wanted him to fill us up, too. I said, sure, I'm sure we're due. He said we're still at about 45% but he can top us off and get the lower summer rate, so yes, let's for sure do that. I wonder how much a gallon it is up to now.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Happy 4th of July

I finished watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Well, binge watched it, I guess, since I watched all 5 seasons in like a week. I didn't like the last season as much. The constant changing of what year it was got annoying, but I did like how they ended it. I'm not into fashion at all, but I did find the dresses and outfits of the show amazing.

The cat was in goofy mode yesterday. First he decided to camp out in one of the reusable grocery bags as I was getting the groceries put away. I think he stayed in there a couple hours.

Then last evening he decided this was a good spot 

He's been sitting on the bear head lately to let us know he wants back inside. Usually he comes to our back patio doors, which are full windows. Now he found another new spot. Then he was unsure how to get back down, so I went out and tapped on the bears head and he backed his way along the ledge and got back down on his head, LOL.

I went to place a curbside order for the chicken feed at the feed store before I left yesterday morning and now they were out of it again. GRRR! They will ship it, but that doubles the price. I'm not out yet, but wanted to go back to using that feed to see if they start laying good again.

Sunday, I think it was around 5:30, I was sitting in the living room and the chair faces the front door and I often catch out of my eye when a car drives by out on the main road. This truck caught my eye because it slowed down and there were 2 more cars right behind it, and a few seconds later they come down our street. I thought it was the guy at the end of our streets pickup, but thought it weird that 2 other cars came too. I didn't see them leave. Dh still had our game camera out in the front yard and it catches when cars go by, but not all 3 cars because it's still resetting after taking the pic of the first car. Dh said it was DAN's pickup and then the camera did get them leaving about 15 minutes later. DH said maybe he was showing the property to someone.......probably not, LOL, but one can hope. He was obviously showing it to people about something.

For watering my flowers, at the front corner of the house we have a coiled garden hose with a long wand on it, to get to the hanging baskets. I also fill a watering can for some I can't reach with the hose and for the pots on the back patio. This year we added flower pots in front of the garage and shop and 3 pots out in the island, near the lilac. I have to refill the can like 3 or 4 times to get those watered. My problem is if I fill the can too full I end up with my back hurting, but if I fill it say 2/3 full, it's ok, but then lots more trips to fill it up back at the faucet. I tried to pick up another coiled hose and wand yesterday but no luck. Well, they had wands, just not the coiled hose. So, this morning I ordered them online. We can hook that hose up at the hydrant faucet between the garage and shop and I can reach those flower pots with it easier. Less carrying of the heavy water can.

My lilac grew quite a bit this year, but bloomed several weeks later than everyone else's I see around, LOL. It is done blooming now, so I need to go cut off the dead blooms. Another little project for today, I guess. The lilac bush is as tall as me now and is starting to fill out the space it's in nicely. Hopefully in another couple of years it will be really big. The iris out at my front gate entrance is huge and bloomed wonderful, but all the leaves are turning brown. Not sure why, all the other iris around the yard are fine. Maybe dogs peeing on it, since it's outside the gate/fence?

I noticed some daylilies that are between the building and walkway of my mom's place yesterday. Very big and tall. I didn't realize they can get that tall, so I hope mine eventually do. 

Enjoy your 4th of July plans (those readers in the US). It appears ours will be pretty quiet, which is a good thing.