Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Just more of the usual (headaches)

It's always something to deal with. I decided to use my free hour (between when I get up and start work) to get logged into my side job and finish up recording their October stuff. Only I can't get logged into the VPN. This has been the most inconsistent thing ever. It's so annoying. It could just be that their server at the office is down this morning, so rather than email my side job boss, I'll wait a couple hours and try again. If it's still not working, I'll let her know I can't get logged in (again...). She's usually not working until like 9 her time, anyway.

And for some reason, now, every time I try to open my "windows start" icon or type in the search bar, I get this weird screen where I can't do anything. The only way I can get it to go away is to click over on my other monitor. So, I apparently now have no way to bring up my Windows start menu. One more thing to figure out.

I'm taking off early from work this afternoon, as we are going into the city for a few errands, 3 that can only be done during weekday/working hours. I need to submit my passport application at the main post office. We need to pick up our furnace filters and some other part dh wants from them, and go to the bank. The rest of dh's order is ready to pick up at the store, as well as we are going to pick up another grocery order, since we are in town.

In other news I got an email from my mom's memory care that they now have zero Covid cases, so they are going to proceed with the flu and covid boosters they were supposed to do last week.

I think I have everything ready for the passport. I filled out the application form online and printed it. I have my original birth certificate and a copy of my DL and a check made out. For dh's passport renewal, I have it ready to mail, after we get a priority envelope at the post office, to send it in. I also have 2 other things to mail while I'm there. Saves me a cold cold walk to our mailbox early in the morning, LOL.

I told dd I'm just going to wait and give her birthday gifts when they are here at Thanksgiving and also make a cake or something (as well as pumpkin pie) and any requests? She is requesting red velvet cake, so red velvet it is. I just need to decide if I want to find a from scratch recipe or just do a box mix. I'm sure the box mix is just as good. That's all I ever make for other cakes and they always taste good.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Pie and passports

One more day and then we can take the (2nd) bag of candy out from hiding and eat it, haha.

I got the banana cream pie made yesterday, though it would be better with more bananas, it's still good. I cleaned the kitchen up and ran the dishwasher. We had leftover mac & cheese for dinner and the pie later for dessert. 

I also got dh's passport renewal form filled out and he signed. I was looking to see how it should be mailed and while not required, I should probably mail it in a priority envelope at the post office, just to be safe, since I have to send in his passport with it. We got a good laugh at our pictues, his a bald shiny head and mine white hair. The lady taking the pictures said it's hard to get a good picture of white hair when they require a white background and also at the same time they want the picture to not be "washed out" looking. Like she said, there's not much they can do when it's white hair on a white background. I also laughed that one of the hair color choices on the form was "bald". He has some hair, but just on the sides and back now, LOL. But, man did he have a head of hair in his youth. Think 70's rockband hair. haha.

For me, I need to apply for my first passport. I think they will do it at the courthouse in town, I just need to call to find out and find out if I need an appointment or can just drop in. The county website leaves a lot to be desired in the form of usable information.

I ordered some OTC medication online with Walmart yesterday and was trying to be on the ball and get my receipt printed to pdf and uploaded to my HSA. Only I can't for the life of me remember/figure out how I printed all the past receipts. It will not print the whole receipt on one page, it's like half of it, width wise. Even if I change the settings, it comes out the same. I even changed it to landscape and it comes out the same. I just tried again this morning and still can't figure out out. I can't remember what I did to save all those other receipts to pdf, so they are readable and show the item and the price I paid. I don't know why this is being so difficult.

The weather is warming up to 45 today and 50 tomorrow, so the snow should melt and we'll get back to a little bit of fall weather again. 

Well, I just emailed our county clerk of court to ask about passport application, as the U.S. Gov't website says they are an acceptance facility, as well as our county website says they are. She said they are no longer an acceptance facility, so I will have to go have it done at the post office in the city.  Apparently there I can either make an appointment or do walk in. I'll probably just do walk in. And then we can mail dh's renewal in at the same time.

Monday - Amos has the right idea!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

One more weekend day

Change of plans yesterday. DH decided he wanted to go into the city to pick up the stuff he ordered, even though not all of the order is in, LOL. We did stop at Walgreens first and got our passport photos done. And of course he forgot his Harbor Freight gift card. Next trip, I guess.

I took about an hour nap when we got home and got up a little after 3. I didn't want to sleep too long or too late or then I'd wake up and not feel like making the macaroni and cheese for dinner. It's about a half hour process to get made (I have no idea why the directions say 10 min prep time, LOL), which is pushing my meal prep limits, LOL. Plus, it's way more clean up than I like to have to do. I haven't made it in a long time and it was good and lots of leftovers. The recipe calls for cavatappi noodles and in all the years making it I never found that kind of noodles at the store so just always used elbow noodles. Well, apparently I had found a box of cavatappi that I bought and was in my pantry, so this was my first time using those noodles. I like the elbow better. The cavatappi really get big when cooked.

So, today I should be able to make the banana cream pie. 

DH spent an all nighter talking to some friend on the phone, so he'll be sleeping in later this morning. It's most likely his friend/ex-employee who now lives in Northern Cali. They get on the phone about once a year and talk for hours, catching up, talking world politics, etc.

18 degrees outside this morning and Amos wanted out. I figured he'd be right back in a few minutes, as usual when it's cold. I made dh's egg sandwich and he's still not back. Ate my breakfast and he's still not back. Then I spotted the Orange Lord just on the other side of the fence. From an upstairs window I got out my new binoculars to take a look. He's sitting under a tree (half grass half little bit of snow) and obviously has some catch he keeping an eye on, LOL. I guess mini mountain lions aren't bothered by the cold. He's still out there, LOL.

My mom's new clothes are supposed to be here by Thursday, so I'll then figure out when to get them in to her, soon after. The weather is supposed to be warmer and no snow later in the week, as well, so it will be easy to make the drive. Though it's been pretty annoying that half the 45 mile drive to the city is road construction. Seriously, they are really doing/going to do road construction in the winter? 



Saturday, October 28, 2023

Sneaky trick

I noticed Walmart is now being a little "tricky" with their cash back rewards on their credit card. Previously I charged my order to my Walmart card and would earn 5% back that I turned around and redeemed as a statement credit. The past couple of orders I've noticed that now this 5% cash back (if I haven't redeemed it yet on the card account) is also now available to take the credit right off my order).

At first I thought, oh, ok, that's handy. But, then my last order I realized doing it that way I'm losing out on a little bit of money. Say my order is $300. I get $15 cash back, that I can redeem as a statement credit, so my net out of pocket is $285. But, let's say I don't redeem it to the statement and redeem in on my next order. Let's say that order is $200 and with the $15 cash back redemption my order is now $185, which is charged to my Walmart card. When charged to my Walmart card I now only earn 5% on that $185, not the $200. It's only .75 loss of rewards I would have earned, but it adds up. I'm going to keep doing it the old way and pass on applying the rewards to my order, instead applying it to my statement as a credit.

If there is a still a banana left and dh hasn't eaten the last one, I think I'll make a banana cream pie. I'm also going to make the mac and cheese for dinner. Last night was homemade pizza. For some reason the frozen bread rolls I have always used for the pizza are getting freezer burned (I think) after opening the package and storing the rest in the bag in the freezer. I've been buying these bags of frozen rolls for years for my pizza but this just seems to be happening this past year. Maybe I'm just not making pizza as often as I used to, so the rolls are in the freezer too long? Maybe I'll try buying the smaller bags, that I would use up quicker, and see how that goes. I even had the bag of rolls inside a ziploc bag....grrr.........

Time to get busy with the day at hand.

Friday, October 27, 2023

The numbers are in

Welp - Friday again already. We got a little dusting of snow last night and it's lightly snowing right now. My dd just had her 5th anniversary with the company she works for. How is that possible? LOL. A few weeks ago I had my 18th anniversary where I work. 

I just placed an order for the clothing for my mom with JC Penney. $200 worth, so they'd better not lose them! The jeans were much cheaper than Blair, plus they also carry a petite size, which should work a little better for her since she's short. 

Just got the email notification the county has uploaded the property tax bills. Unlike Diane's 11% increase in her county, ours increased over 19% - and that's with my total assessed value getting adjusted to a total increase of 32% (instead of the pre-appeal 52%), compared to you saying you had a 50% or so increase. Sounds like you got a much better deal with your county, Diane. My county apparently didn't adjust their mills down very much. And this is with our county short paying the state mills. I'm sure it will go up, after that gets resolved. So, once my escrow is adjusted my house payment is now going up almost $100 a month. Yay.........  Doing the math, my appealing adjustment saved me $937. If I hadn't appealed my total tax bill would have increased $2000 a year, by 36%. 

DAN next door and the couple that owns lot 6, with land only, all our land values went up 118%, they are really going to notice it! Our land portion of our tax bill went from $600 to $1158. Almost double.

I think that most people didn't appeal. One of the reasons likely being the "spin" of "well, your taxes aren't going to go up that much". When I was doing my research and spreadsheet of all the properties along the river in our area, most values went up in that 30-35% range. I recently checked back to see if any property values that I was tracking went down (due to appealing, like I did) and only found one that went down. I have a feeling all these property owners are going to be surprised to get this amount of increase in their tax bills.

Oh well, it's only money, right?

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Missing clothes

All day yesterday I started feeling like my sinus's were bothering me again. I didn't sleep very good last night with my face and teeth hurting. A new cold/virus/Covid still/again? Annoying.

We ended up with a few inches of snow, pretty wet stuff that has stayed on the trees, roof and grass, but the pavement is bare. 22 degrees right now with the high today is only 31. I need to get my chickens water heater base plugged in. I will just leave it plugged in for the rest of the winter, now. There is no more snow predicted for the next week or so.

We will have to go to the city sometime in the next week to pick up something dh ordered and they will let him know when it's in. I guess he also has a gift card to Harbor Freight he's never used (I'm usually on top of what gift cards he needs to use) so we will stop there and also stop at Walgreens and get our passport photos done. I'm going to double check this gift card because I know we've been in Harbor Freight in the past few months and bought stuff. He must have forgotten to bring the gift card that visit is all I can think.

oh good grief. So several weeks ago I ordered a sweater and long sleeve top for my mom from Blair. It took a week or so to get here and I got it but hadn't opened the package yet. Then I forgot to open and take the items with me last Sunday. So, I just opened it and only the top is in the package, and it shows both items were supposed to be in package. Finally, I got through to a customer service person and they are resending the sweater. Then, speak of the devil, I get a call from the memory care coordinator that my mom has no sweaters and could use some more jeans. I did tell her that I had brought at least 2 sweaters for my mom and a fleece jacket - all of which are missing now. I said one sweater was navy blue and light weight and the other was white and heavier. She said oh ya, I do recall her wearing a white sweater.

And I can't remember what size jeans she has and apparently I never created an account with Blair for the past orders, so I can't look to see what size I ordered before. I've emailed the m/c coordinator back to ask her to check her pants for the size tag. And I've found these same jeans much cheaper at JCP, so I'm just going to order everything (long sleeve tops, cardigan sweater, winter jacket, and jeans) from JCP, as soon as I get the pants size. I want to say size 18, but if the m/c coordinator can verify for me, that would be best. I remember my neighbor said when she had her mom at this memory care, her only issue was missing clothes, all the time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The good stuff

We got our snow :) It's too wet to stick to the concrete and pavement, but it's been coming down pretty good since the middle of the night. How do I know this, you may wonder? Well, snow lover dh will turn on the back patio light outside our bedroom window and leave it on so when he wakes up off and on during the night he can see it snowing, LOL.

My mom called me after lunch yesterday. Just a quick chat, but it was good. Of course, she had no memory I was there a couple days prior, but that's ok. I sometimes come across these videos of a guy who's dad has Alzheimers and lives with him and he takes care of him. Very sweet videos. The dad will ask a question and then say "ya, that's what I thought, I just wanted to make sure". This is exactly what my mom will say, too, when she asks something.

We had our first "benefit" of Mr and Mrs Neighbors son and family moving twice the distance away, LOL. They always had come for 4 or 5 days when hunting season starts. This time it was just the son, who apparently flew up, by himself. We wouldn't have even realized he was here, if Mr hadn't told dh he was coming to hunt for 4 days. That's the way it should be - their guests shouldn't overlap into our lives/property. I don't think they had any luck with the hunting though. Usually they always do.

I made the new recipe of pan baked potatoes, green beans and sausage for dinner. It was freaking delicious! We ate the whole pan. The sausage was "chicken and apple" and such a good flavor.

Also, very easy to make. I don't even like green beans much at all and I ate every bite of them on my plate. Next time I'll add more. Dh loves green beans and I figured I'd end up giving him most of them, but they were too good. The only thing the video recipe I watched using the air fryer had was bacon pieces, too, and the recipe I found to bake in the oven, did not have bacon. I will probably try adding some bacon next time. I was trying to go by the recipe I printed and dh kept talking and distracting me while I was trying to make it, that I forgot about the bacon.

I did find the probe in the manual packet for the oven. Doubt I'll ever use it, haha. I am definitely going to try the steam cleaning though! Those that use this option - do you leave the racks in or take out?

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Convection oven

It was a pretty productive day, work wise.  Though I did accidentally disconnect myself again by accidentally hitting the sleep mode button. I suppose I could remove the key, but I have this nice brand new keyboard and don't really want it to look old and broken, LOL. It wouldn't be so bad to just go into sleep mode, but it also disconnects me from my remote connection, so I have to get signed back in, which is a 2 step process.

Today I have the "fun" job of posting the AmEx statement - 8 pages of transactions to post to our accounting program. This ranks up with reconciling the bank statement (usually like 6 pages) each month. Not on my list of favorite tasks. I was really hoping I could pass this job on to the accounting assistant, but then my boss decided she didn't want to give him access to our financial info, which is understandable, but I did tell her it could be set up so that he only has access to specific screens, not the whole big picture.

We have our first winter storm watch of the season starting late tonight through Thursday. It's supposed to rain this evening and then turn to snow as it gets colder. I'm ready for the "white wonderfulness", as dh always calls it :)

We will run into town today to pick up dh's prescription, fill the car up with gas, and stop at the store for the potatoes I need. Everything is within a couple blocks of each other, so quick and easy. We have one traffic signal light in our county - and it's not in our town, LOL.

This mornings breakfast is an orange cranberry muffin and a glass of eggnog. Yum.

I had my cup of (Folgers Black Silk) coffee when I first got up.

My oven has a "convection" option. I have NO idea how it works/how to use it? Do you have this and use it? 

I guess I should probably read up on how it works. I also just realized it has 2 cleaning modes. I have never used these either. The last time (different house) I decided to try the self cleaning, OMG, the whole house smelled so bad for hours and hours. Last time I cleaned this oven, I just used the "pink stuff" (which I wasn't that impressed with). The glass really just needs to be cleaned the most. The pink stuff did not really take any of the hardened on film/spots. Again, I suppose I should research this! I don't know what the "probe" is either...did it come with a probe? Maybe it's in the package of instructions. When we were building the house I just put all the various manuals, etc, into a plastic file cabinet to keep. This oven is obviously for people who know how to cook. LOL. I don't even use the timer - I can't figure out how to do minutes and I always just use the microwave above it for a timer.

Monday, October 23, 2023


I noticed Linda at moreparsimony blog has not posted since October 8th and I think that's the last time she commented on my blog. Does anyone know if she is ok? That's not like her to go this long in between blog posts, at all. I hope everything is ok with her.


 I'm not excited it's Monday again, LOL. I think I need a 4 day work week ;) 

Yesterday was a good day. I got to my mom's place about 10:20. Due to covid there was a sign posted at the sign in table with masks, asking visitors to wear a mask and try to only visit if necessary (they did not say either of that in their emails to family - just that they were taking precautions). I had a mask with me anyway, just in case it was required and went inside. There is a tv lounge area just as you get inside and she was sitting there with 2 others watching a church service. I did pull my mask down for a few seconds to greet her, to make sure she could recognize me.

As we were walking back to her room she told a couple people we passed "this is my daughter" and then she said to me my first and middle name! That was a sweet surprise. We just stayed in her room visiting (usually we sit out in a common area outside her room). She's doing good, but it was the same questions and conversation as usual. As I was signing in, to go inside, 2 staff members came up and they keyed in the code and then I followed in behind them. When I was leaving I put in the code (same code since she's moved in last February) and it wouldn't work. I tried again, just to make sure. Then I had to walk back through half the place (it's pretty large) to find a staff member to ask what the new code is and was able to get out, haha. The other cute thing that happened was as I was leaving (the place is L-shaped) and came around the corner, a resident was walking along w/her walker and as she saw me she said "hello" and my mom's name! haha! I even had a mask on. 

After leaving there I stopped at the one grocery store for the fish and frozen burger patties. They were all out of the ones I always get. Dang. I bought a box of another kind that has 20 in it, so I'm hoping these will be fine. They were a little more expensive, so they should be ok. I also got their butter on sale and decided to pick up a carton of egg nog. While I also really like my homemade egg nog, I priced it out and it's more expensive (and time consuming) to make, so I'm just going to buy it.

I got my groceries loaded up at Walmart and headed home. DH got them all brought inside and I put everything away and then made some lunch. At some point I realized I forgot to get the potatoes for that recipe I mentioned (the air fryer one) the other day. Dang it!! I know I had looked at what was available when making my order online. I guess I didn't get it in my cart. So now I have all the ingredients except the potatoes. 

I did find a very similar recipe baking them in the oven on a sheet pan (and as other commenters suggested). We do have to go into town this week to pick up dh's prescription at the pharmacy, so I will have to stop in the grocery store, too, for the potatoes. We will probably go in tomorrow, before the predicted snow for Wed and Thursday.

I ended up taking a 2 hour nap from 2pm to 4pm. I was pretty zonked out, for some reason. Dinner was easy. I heated up the taco soup I had taken out the day before, that we didn't end up eating. 

For probably 25 years now I have been making dh an "egg mcmuffin" for breakfast. I just add some small pieces from ham lunch meat into the egg, a slice of American cheese on top (slightly melted on top after the egg is cooked) between a toasted english muffin. They are pretty good. A few weeks ago, for our day trip to get dh's CWP renewed we stopped at McD's for egg mcmuffins. Dh said "no offense, yours are really good, but these are always so good". When I was getting my order put in Walmart I found they sell some round slices of Canadian Bacon ham, just the exact size of an english muffin, so I made him one with that this morning. It's wrapped in the foil, waiting for him to get up and try. (he likes them to sit in the foil awhile before he eats). Sure looked good - makes me want one myself, haha! It will be interesting to see if he likes it better this way. Ok, he just got up......hold on for an update.....

Ok, he said it's still not as good as a real one, but he does like the Canadian bacon ham and likes it better than how I used to make it. Guess I'll need more of that ham, haha.

What copycat recipes do you make?


Sunday, October 22, 2023

Pretty Saturday

It ended up being a pretty busy day yesterday. Very nice outside. We got all the flower pots emptied and put away. I'm still leaving the flowers in the 2 barrels on the front patio, for now. They still look good, though I have no idea how. They are under the patio cover, so don't get any rain and I haven't watered since Labor Day weekend (when I got Covid).

Then we decided to go into town and fill up dh's 6 gas jugs, so we are set with that. Should be enough gas for his snow plowing this winter. Or just peace of mind between now and when he has to start plowing (not likely for at least a month or two). Gas could also be used in our generator. He needed the premium gas w/no ethanol - $4.59 a gallon :(  Town was pretty with all the big trees with fall leaves. We only have firs and pines out where we are, so don't see much fall colors. We took a short drive out to the end of town, where we used to live. We checked to see if our retired friend was home and were going to stop and say hello, but of course he was not home. He is rarely ever home.

Got back home and had lunch and then I took a nap for about an hour. Earlier I had thought I'd better look at that bag of bacon bits and make sure it's still good to use. It was not, so I wasn't going to be able to make the mac & cheese for dinner, so I pulled out one of the containers of the frozen taco soup to thaw.  hen around 4pm dh said lets drive to the city to get dinner and peanut buster parfaits for dessert, so we did that and were back home around 6:15. It was a satisfying dinner (Taco Time LOL) and especially the dessert.

This morning I need to now get in the shower so I can leave about 9:40 to go see my mom and pick up my grocery order. I'll also be stopping at the other grocery store for more of the salmon. They are still on sale, plus more of their frozen burger patties. I need to start buying 2 of those packs, haha. It's an easy dinner and dh really likes having them often. This stores digital coupons also have one for $5 off $50 so that will be nice. I also saw they have Dairygold butter for $2.99, which is a $1 cheaper than Walmart's store brand, so I will get that as well. 

I'm going to take my mom some more tissues. Since it's been awhile since I was there, I'm sure she's either out or getting low. 

It's not supposed to be sunny today, but at least no rain for my trip into the city today.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

A foody day

I was looking to see if I need more cheeses/what kind and found a small bag of bacon bits under the bags of cheese. So, I did have some, like I thought, LOL. The big block of sliced deluxe american cheese is thawed and now that I know I have some bacon, I can make my mac and cheese today, instead of waiting to get bacon with my grocery order tomorrow. It's yummy mac and cheese. I have taken it to potlucks before and there has never been any left.

Dh got the lawn mowed and when he was done he got the riding and push mowers all maintenanced, cleaned, and put away in the garden shed for the winter. He was working on the riding mower when I got done with work and went to the garage to see what he was doing. He said he'd be done in about an hour. I still had no idea what I was going to make us for dinner. Probably just sandwiches. Two hours later at 6:30 he got done, so I decided to make us some french toast, to use up some white bread I have left. 

Today we need to finish emptying all the flower pots and get those put in the garage for the winter. At least that should be an easy job and won't take too long. Just going to wait until it warms up a bit outside, first though. It's going to be 70 today, but right now it's only 48. Then we sit and wait for winter and snow, LOL.

I was watching a video of a dinner dish made using an air fryer. It looked so delicious (potatoes, kielbasa, green beans, bacon bits, seasonings) and done in like 10 min. But, I so do not need another kitchen appliance taking up room! My kitchen is not really that big. Obviously this can be also be made without an air fryer - I just need to figure out how, haha. It looks like something we'd really like eating. Just put it in a dish and bake it, I guess. This is going to be my project today, look online and figure out how to make it like a normal person without a fancy kitchen gadget 👵

I remembered last year I bought a few "fall" decor items. I guess I should get those out now! I actually forgot about it, until dd mentioned she put out some of her fall decor. oh ya.....LOL

Hunting season starts today, so I'm sure we'll be hearing some guns. There is some state land across from us. Mostly we just see hunters driving on the forest service road across from us, to get back up farther into the woods to hunt. 

Ok, off to shower and dress and then find a regular oven version of this recipe. Then I can add the ingredients to my order for pickup tomorrow.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Finally Friday edition

I'm going to go see my mom Sunday morning and then pick up my groceries. I hadn't heard from her in a few days. I tried again twice during the day yesterday and no answer, so I was wondering if she put her phone in her drawer again. I decided to try again last evening around 6:30 and she answered, but it made me remember why I really hate calling her in the evenings. She had no clue who I was or who she was talking to. She faked it as much as possible. But she kept asking me how old I was and then saying "oh, that's pretty young....do you have a boyfriend?"

One thing I just did, in my quest to be more prepared for an emergency, is order a back up supply of the heart medication I take daily. I can't remember where I heard of this company, JASE Medical (I think I was watching a Dave Ramsey video on youtube or Facebook video). It was quite easy to order. I just had to answer a few questions, give my cell# to text a code, then I got a text asking me to text a picture of my current prescription label. About an hour after that I got a text that the medication has been filled for a year and will be shipped to me. Nice peace of mind. This was 2 days ago and UPS just delivered it already.

So, I decided let's do dh's daily prescription, too. I was just going to order it for him, but it wouldn't take my ph#, since it's been used for me. So, I got his phone and proceeded to sign up. Only then it wanted to verify his identity with the last four of his ss# (I don't think I had to give that). Then it wanted to more verify his identity by scanning a QR code and submitting a picture of his ID and a selfie. Good grief. LOL. So, it's all on hold now as dh is out mowing the lawn for a few hours. I don't know why his has to be so much more involved than mine.  

I also discovered something else I never really realized/thought about checking into. That bill I just got a year later, from our hospital's lab, for dh's PSA blood test, the one that was $137! (it was $144, there was a little insurance w/o, but the rest went to deductible). Well, he can get that blood test elsewhere for much cheaper. Like for $69 at Labcorp or QuestDiagnostics locations. We have a Labcorp in the city. So, next time dh needs that test done again, we'll just do it there and save $68. Good to know.

On my menu for the next couple of weeks, I want to make my homemade mac and cheese. It uses 4 kinds of cheese (and bacon!). Several months ago I wanted to make it and bought the cheeses but then never made it. It calls for like 8 slices of Deluxe American Cheese. For some reason, I have no idea why, I purchased a huge big block of slices. Why?! Why would I do this when I make this like once a year and only need 8 slices?? So, after I had not made it, I threw the big block of cheese slices in the freezer. I just pulled it out to thaw and see if they can still be used. Can they? The slices are just going to get melted in with the other cheeses, when I make it. I still can't imagine why I would buy this package of like 72 slices, LOL.

I don't know what is going on with my computer. Earlier this week, while working, my computer just acted like it shut down and went into sleep mode, as I'm working. I hit enter and it comes back to life, but I am now disconnected from my remote connection and have to re-sign in. Well, it just did it again, 2 times in a row. I'm doing work and it just goes to sleep (I guess?). I logged back in and it immediately did it again.  ohhhhh...I see what it is. My new keyboard - I sometimes use the - key on the top right of the number pad and just above that is what appears to be a sleep mode button. Well, that's a stupid place for it! LOL. I'm reaching above for the - on the number pad and accidentally hitting the sleep button. Well, at least I figured out what is causing it.

I had my desk all cleaned off last Sunday and now it's a big old mess again. Guess I'll be working on it again this weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Wants, needs and savings

Well, this is annoying. I'm trying to finish up some work for my side job. I just need to log into their bank account for 1 minute to download the credit card statement. That's all I need....but noooo....something is wrong with the banks website and it won't let me log in. I have been trying for almost 2 hours now. "We are experiencing difficulties on our end, please try again later". 

I was looking at my Amazon order history. The last time I ordered a "want" was the end of July. I ordered a nice blanket for the back of the couch (that Amos has decided is his) and a stupid "cat cave" that Amos could care less about and is now taking up space on the floor in my office. I'll try to get dd to take it home with her next visit and see if her cat likes it, LOL. If not she can give it away on her neighborhood free page, or something. Everything I've ordered since then is something we need. I did order 2 Prime day items for our cruise next year. Did I "need" the little purse? Well, yes. I am not going to walk around a ship or shore excursions with a huge bag, LOL. Did I "need" the extra binoculars? Well, probably not. I'd say that one falls in the cracks between need and want. When we are wanting to use them while on the cruise and one of us would have to miss out on seeing it good/close up, because the other person has the one set of binoculars, then it's going to feel like a need, haha.

I finally got into the bank account and got the statement I need. Now I can't get into my remote connection with the company, LOL. It's apparently going to be one of "those" days.  

I just ordered some OTC medication from Amazon and I remembered to save the receipt to pdf and add it to my HSA account as an eligible expense. I usually order it from Walmart and it's $14.92. Now it's up to over $17. Then I found it on Amazon for $9.99. I'm all finished with dd's birthday gifts and even a Christmas gift already purchased. Look at me go! 😄

I think that maybe the reason I got the new debit card, is mine was set to expire at the end of this month - I think the timing crossed with them processing this replacement card and getting it sent out and me canceling the debit cards. I'm just going to shred this one.

I need to figure out when I'm going to go get more groceries next. I need to do it sometime by mid next week. Last weekend/earlier this week I was like "oh I'll just go in Thursday, after work". Well yesterday came and I'm like ehh...I don't feel like going, I can get by a few more days, haha. I do at least have my list written up.

DH's buddy that lives in Texas sent a picture of a price at a gas station with gas at like $2.79. Must be nice - we're at like $4 a gallon, I think. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Accounts closed and maybe closed?

Not much new happening in my world. It's getting colder. This mornings temp was 33. Chance of snow mid next week.  Dh thinks he probably has one more mow to do and then he can do his annual maintenance on the lawn mowers and put them away for the season.

I did get email notification that the old checking and savings I closed of my mom's has now been officially closed. So, now I can have that off my list of things to be overseeing. So, now she just has one local checking/savings and her investment account. When I moved her here she had her checking and savings, and a savings and CD through a credit union, her investment account and then I had to open her a local checking and savings. So now we are just down to the 3 accounts to manage.

So, not too long ago I canceled my paypal debit cards (in each our names) and it showed as removed from when I log into paypal. Well, today I just get in the mail a replacement debit card! What the heck? are they just trying to get me to use one again, hoping I'll activate it? Annoying.  One more thing I have to waste my time on figuring out.

Our property tax bills will go out in the mail (or can get online, which I am signed up for) in a couple of weeks. (OH NO! She's talking about property taxes again! Call the blogger police!). It will be interesting to see how much they go up. Our little weekly newspaper is horrible about giving out any updates or things that were decided in council meetings, but apparently the county did vote (2 to 1) to join in with a lot of the other counties, to basically short the state their state schools mill tax amount. The counties all have to adjust their mills down, but the state's mill is, for some reason, a set amount, so many counties are trying to get the state to adjust it's mills down, like all the counties are doing. The governor and attorney general are refusing, so the counties are apparently just going to short pay the state! (I think it's about a 20% short pay). The governor is now suing the counties. Or I guess they are suing ONE county....I think they picked the county they think they have the best chance at prevailing. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. These massive property appraisal increases throughout the state has kind of thrown everyone for a loop.

I'm tired today. It's just after lunch and I'm feeling so sleepy now. I haven't taken a lunch break yet, maybe I'll take one and take a nap.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Coffee and milk

It was a big delivery day yesterday. I got my Walmart order plus the stuff I ordered on Amazon Prime Day. 3 gifts for dd. A new keyboard for me, as well as some travel compression vacuum bags that were on sale. The keyboard is a quiet one and I'm liking it. Since I type a lot it's nice that the key clicking isn't as loud. Plus I can see all the letters now, LOL. Not that I can't type without looking, but sometimes it's nice to see the letters. A lot of the letters on my old keyboard had worn off.

New coffee tried - it tastes good! I don't know that it is a huge change from my regular coffee, but it has a good flavor. 

Shelf stable milk tried. I tried a small glass last night. It has a bit of a different taste to it. I can't pinpoint what it tastes like, but it's totally fine to drink and I can totally use in a pinch, so I will be glad to have this on hand. Since I have the carton open now and need to use it up, I tried it with my Carnation instant breakfast drink and it is fine. Again, just a tiny little taste of something different, but I don't mind it. I think I'll try a different brand, to replace this carton, and see if there is any difference between the two. I'll have to figure out how much I want to have on hand, since it needs to be used in about 9 months or so. Probably just enough for a week or two, in case I couldn't make it to the store for some reason - a gallon or so equivalent.

I'm still sore from the tending to the iris plants. Not quite as sore as yesterday but it still hurts to bend over and get back up. Would be nice if Amos would quit knocking my pen off my desk, LOL.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Weekend wrap up

I ended up with about 3/4 cup of mashed bananas for my 1 cup recipe, so I did add 1/4 cup of applesauce to it. The bread turned out perfect. I may be imagining it, LOL, but I actually think it tastes better this way. I think it will be my new recipe going forward :)

I got 2 loads of laundry done as well. Mostly I felt like I was just cleaning the kitchen all day. After breakfast, after baking, after dinner.... I still need to get my desk/office cleaned up. Also, we'll likely head outside later and begin cutting down all the iris. Not sure what happened to most of them this year, but after they bloomed (early summer), by late summer all the leaves turned brown.

Ok, I took a break from writing this post and worked on my desk/office. It's getting there. I can see most of the top of my desk again. Funny how I can get so messy and disorganized with my desk, but I can't stand it like that in any other part of my house. Now I'm messaging with DD, so not getting a lot done!

I didn't get to finish this post yesterday. We went outside to cut down all the iris plants around 11:30 and that took us an hour and 15 minutes. Much easier doing it together (I did it by myself last year) but still really hard on the back and legs. Either bent over or squatted down that whole time. Burning legs! LOL. We were so glad to get it done. I didn't have the energy to go back upstairs to my computer the rest of the day. 

I am feeling it even more this morning. Ugh. My lower back and legs. Coming up the stairs was painful, LOL.  

Amos likes the blanket I recently got for the back of the sofa. He pulled it down and took nap. He's also been sleeping next to me a lot most nights now. Who knows why he changes his routine, haha. He'll usually stay for 2-3 hours and leave for awhile. I then usually turn over, so my back is towards the edge of the bed. He'll come back at some point and I feel him jump up, hoping he'll just find a spot to lay down. No, it has to be in the exact right spot, so he will tap me with his paw until I turn over and he can curl up next to my stomach.

The shelf milk and Folgers Black silk coffee I ordered are supposed to arrive today. I'm looking forward to trying out both, but the coffee trying will have to wait until tomorrow morning as I'm drinking my one cup for today right now. Or....maybe I'll just make a very small cup to give it a try today 😋

Well, I guess I'd better post this now or else I'm going to get too busy with work and next thing I know it will be afternoon already.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Baking and chores

I've got a couple of Christmas gifts purchased. Look at me, all on top of everything 😉  DD and I were messaging and I told her about dh and I deciding not to exchange gifts this year, since we'll just be by ourselves and we really don't need anything. I told her it's completely up to her if she wants to not exchange with us this year, but she wants to, so that is perfectly fine, too. She gave me a couple idea of books she wants. One is a series, so I ordered a set of the first 4 books and also the other book she mentioned. 

I told her dad "says" he's not going to get me anything, but then he will go and do it anyway, so I think I might get him a gift I was planning on before we decided to not exchange, cuz I don't trust him....she said ya...he's lying! LOL.  

My desk and top of my file cabinets is a cluttered disaster again, so that is on my to do list for the weekend. Even trying to be as paperless as possible, there sure is still a lot of papers to deal with. 

I have a couple of leftover ripe small bananas that might be enough to make a loaf of banana bread, so I think I'll do that today. If it's not quite enough mashed up (I think the recipe I use calls for 1 cup) maybe I could add a little applesauce? I don't know, seems like that would work, LOL.

I made a chicken sandwich ring for dinner last night. I've been making this for years and years and always just use prepackaged bacon bits. I don't think I've cooked up real bacon since the first couple of times I made it (1990's? LOL) but as I got out the ingredients to make it, I realized I am out of bacon bits. Luckily I had a little bit of bacon left in the freezer (purchased when we had house guests) so I thawed it in the microwave and cooked it up. Put it in the fridge on the plate to cool down as quick as possible so I could break it up. On my, it really made it all taste better. Much more bacon flavor.  I also use bacon pieces with my homemade mac & cheese, so I guess I'd better start using real bacon for that, too. Oooh...I haven't made that m&c in a long time. It sounds really good. I don't have all the cheeses on hand, so I will have to add them to my next grocery list, along with the bacon.

So, one year I had purchased a frozen Thanksgiving turkey that came with a packet of gravy. It was really good gravy, but the next year I couldn't remember what brand of turkey. I thought it was butterball, but every butterball I've purchased since then doesn't have it, nor any other brand I've gotten. Anyone know which turkey comes with that? Well, I just searched online with Walmart "frozen turkey with gravy" and Jenni-O comes up, so maybe that is the one I got several years ago.

Did I mention my mom's memory care place has like 4 covid cases now? (out of like 25 or so residents in the m/c part), so that worry has been in the back of my mind the past week. So far so good with my mom and now that her phone is back in sight, she is calling me just about every day,  usually either after breakfast or lunch, but when she calls me after lunch (around 1:15 or so) she will ask "are you done with dinner?" Sometimes I say yes, sometimes I say, no we haven't had dinner yet 😘

Friday, October 13, 2023

Testing, testing 123

I placed an online Walmart order yesterday for shipping to me. I bought 6 cartons of the boxed milk and also a can of the Folger's silk coffee, to try. I added a few more needed items to get to the $35 free shipping. I will let you know on both the coffee and milk how I like them.

I have $55 in my "cruise" savings, so far. This is from putting in my cash backs. I received the Royal Caribbean visa card and have charged a couple things to that, but still have $750 more to charge to earn the $250 cruise credit. I'm also going to get a Chase credit card I am pre approved for that will earn me $200 cash back, after only charging $500. This will go into my cruise fund, as well. Next August (cruise is in Sept) I will also get the 2024 property tax refund and will put that towards the cruise, as well.

This morning my mom's checking looks back to normal and is showing the withdrawal transfer to the savings. But, the savings side is still pending. I think it should go through as finalized today.  

DH got out our satellite messenger emergency "phone" yesterday. Charged it up, did a test with DD (who needed to get theirs charged up, too) and refreshed ourselves on how they work. Hard to remember when we never use them, other then to test out every year or so, when we think about it. Dh couldn't remember how to use it at all, so we need to test it more often to help remember. But they worked, messages sent and received - though in typical dh and dd comic style, LOL.

We certainly aren't anywhere as prepared as prepper level type folks, but probably more prepared than a lot of people. We have a little bit of long term foods, maybe enough for a month, a pretty stocked pantry and freezer, about 9 cases of drinking water, plus 30 gallons of tap water, a small generator, guns and ammo, some cash on hand, extra OTC supplies and a decent first aid kit, and a few months of pet food/supplies

What things do you have in place to prepare for an emergency?

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Where is this week going?

Not a whole lot to update for yesterday or even the day before. I worked, I made dinner, LOL. Tuesday night was hamburgers, last night was scrambled eggs. I find, the older I get, the simpler I'm making dinner meals, most nights. I just don't feel like making a full on dish or casserole as often. 

My mom's checking account has me so confused this morning! She's has a bit of a cushion, so I decided to transfer some of it into a savings account that pays good interest and let it sit there awhile, at least earning something extra, until she needs it. I processed the transaction online to the savings account. It usually takes about 4 days to post. Yesterday I saw it taken out of her checking and in the savings (different bank) it was showing as pending (this is normal). This morning I log in to both. It's still showing as pending (again normal, until it gets through the process) but the withdrawal is now not showing in her checking, BUT her balance is reduced by that amount. ok....but the even weirder part is her daily balance going back to at least last August is reflecting less this amount. In fact, in early Sept her balance is showing she went in to the negative (she did not). I went back to her actual August statement and compared the ending balance to what it is showing online for the end of August. Exactly the difference of what I just set up a few days ago to be transferred. What in the world? This makes no sense. I went back to her statement balance at the beginning of this year -the online balance is showing less the exact amount of what I am trying to move to this savings account. I'm sure it will all clear up once the transaction is processed, but just weird. It gave me a bit of a heart attack at first, thinking wait a minute - Did I calculate her available balance to move to savings wrong?!

Accounts all over seem to be whacky this week. First the deal with the debit card. Then I get a bill in the mail for dh's blood test - from a year ago! They didn't bill insurance until the end of August and I'm just now getting the bill. And in yesterdays mail was a monthly statement for our electric bill - which I am set up on for paperless. I log in this morning and it's still showing as set up for paperless. No idea why they mailed a statement (plus I'm on auto pay). I don't have time for all this nonsense! LOL.

Has anyone ever tried the shelf stable boxed milks? I didn't even know such a thing existed. I was watching a little video that mentioned/showed it (good items to have on hand in your pantry). I'm always running out of milk and for some reason I can't explain, I never even buy enough to get some frozen to have on hand when I run out. I thought maybe this is a good thing to put in the pantry to have on hand. If nothing else, I could use it in baking if I'm out of milk. At least have it, to get me by, until my next shopping trip and I can stock up on regular milk again. I do have some powdered milk in the pantry. I can't drink that stuff. I tried. 

Powdered milk reminds me of my jr high/high school best friend. They were well off...her dad was a CPA, her mom a stay at home, they lived on a golf course...and only had powdered milk. That was the worst stuff to drink or have in your cereal, LOL. I'm sure they were all used to it, but whenever I ate there/stayed overnight, it was not milk to me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Holidays and coffee

I knew dd and sil wouldn't be coming over for Christmas this year, but I wasn't sure about Thanksgiving. I couldn't even remember what we did last Thanksgiving - if they were here or not....I had to go back to my blog posts from last year to see that they were not. I messaged her to ask about Thanksgiving and she said yes, they were planning to come Thanksgiving this year (and not Christmas, as I had figured), but that they think they will also try to come like the weekend before or after Christmas for a quick visit, too. That will be nice. New Years would be nice to have them over. She said they'll look at the calendar tonight and figure it out. I'm kind of surprised they want to come over again in December, since they'll be here Thanksgiving, but I'm not going to complain!

I won't be having my mom here to stay overnight during holidays, anymore. And to just have her here for the day would take most of the day to go pick her up, bring her back, and take her home and drive back home on the same day. Not what I want to spend a holiday doing, especially when trying to cook a big meal the same day. We'll likely all just go in the day after Thanksgiving to see her. Since it will just be me and dh on Christmas, we'll probably go in on Christmas eve to see her, as I still plan to make a nice dinner for us on Christmas Day. 

I finally got to talk to my mom after lunch yesterday and she sounded good,  though in that frame of mind where she's just staying at this place for awhile longer. She said she has her "other place" and it's "upstairs". I'm guessing she is thinking of her apartment at the previous place, as that was upstairs, on the 3r floor. But, then she said "I don't know why I'd want to go back to my other place, though, this place is really nice and I like my room" LOL. Then an hour later she called me, haha. Back to normal :)

DAN is back today, it sounds like with a chainsaw this time. Still a mystery! His house has been back on the market for 30 days with no sale. Other than the 2 months he took it off, it has now been for sale for 2 years. That's a very long time in this market the past few years. 

What's everyone's favorite coffee - if you use ground coffee (not k-cups)? I've been using the Walmart brand medium roast. It's cheap, but I also don't want to try something super expensive, either. I don' like the flavored coffees (FYI)


Monday, October 9, 2023

Monday again

I think I've figured out what to get dd for her birthday. She fell in love with the highland cows in Scotland, LOL. And she loves to do puzzles, so I've found some puzzles on Amazon of highland cows, so I will get her one of those, and likely add a couple of books to read, too.

I haven't been able to get a hold of my mom on her phone in the past week. At first I thought it was just bad timing, as she's not in her room that much, as she is out of it. But, then my uncle called last night that he keeps trying her (and he typically calls evening, when she is more likely to be there). I emailed the m/c coordinator this morning to ask if they could take a look at her phone, when they have time and see if it's working. In the past, when she unplugged it, it wouldn't ring, it would go straight to a message saying the party you've reached has not set up voicemail, but now it just rings 5 or 6 times and then that message. I had also gotten an email last week that they were doing Covid boosters and flu shots later this month and would be contacting family members for consent, so I let her know she has my consent for that, too. 

I just got a reply back from the m/c coordinator that she will have someone look at mom's phone and have her give me a call. She said she is doing well and participating in a lot of activities. She did say they have had a couple of m/c residents who got covid, but that they have precautions in place for the other residents...not sure how that works, when the staff is all about to everyone, but it is what it is and obviously they can only do so much. Hopefully the vaccine and boosters she's already had, do their job, for her and the rest of the residents.

Well, it's already about time for lunch. I'm hungry, (usually I'm not very lunch hungry) but not sure what sounds good. 

And one more thing - mystery solved with mom's phone - she had put the phone inside the drawer of the little dresser stand her phone sits on top of, LOL.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Apple pie day

It was a nice relaxing and sunny day yesterday. DH was out in his shop most of the day. He decided to get the plow put back on the mule. I don't know all what else he did, but he kept busy putting around.  Amos spend most of the day with him, overseeing it all.

I got the taco soup into the crockpot. Then I pulled my frozen pie crusts out to thaw. When those were ready, I made the apple pie. Well, that was easy peasy and yummy. When it was still a bit warm I cut a slice with some ice cream. Yum.

I told dd how have I lived almost 60 years now and not know there was such a thing as pre made apple pie filling?! LOL.

I tried to get a nap. DH texted me he needed my help out in the shop for a few minutes. Then I went back and tried to nap again. I sort of did. 

Dinner was the taco soup, along with some corn bread. With our groceries I bought a big bag of small candy bar type stuff. You know, to have some on hand, if our neighbor kids stop by on Halloween and we'd have some to eat, too. We're going to end up eating it all before Halloween, LOL.

I still have about a month, but need to get on the ball to figure out a birthday gift(s) for dd. I think some books to read. I might cruise around Etsy shops and see if anything cute catches my eye, that she would like. I'll probably start looking and get overwhelmed at too many things/choices :/

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Transaction declined

I've had a Paypal Debit and credit card for years. The debit card is the one dh has in his wallet to use for gas and whatnot (usually just gas). He took his pickup out for a drive and stopped in town to fill up and the debit card would not work. What the heck! I was getting email notifications of the declined charge attempts. I texted him that I have no idea why it's doing that. He ended up just using his cash to pay. One of the perks of small town life - the lady told him "you can just come back tomorrow to pay" LOL. He's like no, I have some cash, I'll just use that.

The debit cards have always worked where they are linked to your paypal balance, BUT, also you could link them to your checking account, so you didn't need to have funds in your papal balance. For years this is how it's worked (same thing how my Target debit card works). I went online trying to see if by chance it got unlinked to my checking and I couldn't find anything how to do that at all. I call and before I could even talk to anyone, their recording said "if you are a Paypal debit card holder, please be advised that as of September 12th, your debit card will no longer link to your checking account and you must have funds in your paypal account to use it". Well, that's just dumb! I rarely ever have money in there. So, I found the credit card issued to dh in my desk (I never gave it to him, since he's always just used the debit card one), and he can just use that from now on. I'm sure they must have sent out some notice about this, but I missed it. So, I just went back online and canceled the two debit cards, as I won't use them now. I have no desire to try to make sure I have money in my paypal account to cover purchases. That would be a constant pain in the you know what. The reason I had him use that debit card vs. our bank debit card was at least we got 1% cash back.

DD and SIL are home. Of course their pets (a dog and a cat) were happy to see them. I'm happy to be able to chat regularly again in our own time zones, LOL.

Those little binoculars I ordered arrived yesterday - they are surprisingly really good for such cheap ones. Much better than the little pair we have (that used to be my dad's that he used at the horse track haha!). I'm glad I decided to buy them. We will definitely use them more than just the cruise. The little purse arrived, too, and it will also work just fine.

Super foggy out again this morning. I can't even see the river. But, that usually means it's going to be a nice sunny day, once it burns off. This is not my picture, but this is sure what it looks like in our area right now and this time of year.

Once dh is up this morning, I will start clanging around the kitchen to get my taco soup in the crockpot. It can just sit on low all day. After dinner I'll get it all divided up into containers to freeze the rest for individual meals.

DD has already started messaging me. Of course trying to adjust to time zone difference. She said they went to bed at 9pm last night and got up at 5am, but at least they got 8 hours sleep and will get back adjusted quickly. They just need to go get groceries, of course.

I'm glad it's Saturday. The week went by really fast and it's now nice to have some relaxing time.

Friday, October 6, 2023


I told dh yesterday I needed to run into town for milk and gatorade. He said why don't we just go into Walmart after you get off work? I said well, I'll have to see if they have a pick up time available. To my surprise they did, so I picked between 5-6pm. I had most of my list already made out, so I got the order in and then still had a few hours to add things I later thought of. I remembered I want to make my taco soup, so I got a can of each of the beans it uses (like every kind, LOL). It makes a huge pot of soup and enough I can freeze for 4-5 more meals for us, that are nice to have throughout fall and winter months.

I kicked off work about 15 minutes early and we headed to the city. Halfway there dh says "why am I coming? LOL" I said "um...I guess if you wanted dinner tonight you needed to come!" LOL. Dh likes to drink chocolate milk some, but I got a notification they were out of chocolate milk. I had already planned to stop at the other grocery store after Walmart to pick up the salmon we like, as well as some frozen hamburger patties. I tried Walmart's frozen hamburger patties and they didn't taste very good to me. So, when I ran into that store, I grabbed chocolate milk too. The salmon was $4 off, which is good savings, so I bought 4 boxes (2 fillets in each). When checking out, the cashier says "it's our seniors 10% off day, are you over 55?" Yes, I am, so I saved about $6 more. We stopped at Taco Time and ate that on the way home. Groceries just keep going up and up - My Walmart order was $328 and my other grocery store was $60.

Those of you my age...did you watch Bewitched when you were a kid and wished you had her powers? As we were pulling in the driveway I told dh now is when I wished I was Bewitched. I could twitch my nose right now and all the groceries would be put away ;) I was feeling a bit tired after working all day,  but, he got it all hauled into the kitchen and I got it all put away. At least I didn't have to make dinner. We made the round trip in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Pretty quick, and we had to deal with 2 areas of road construction, where it was like 35 mph.

I went to bed about 15-20 minutes earlier than usual and I was able to wake up my normal time this morning, no problem. Or maybe it was just annoying Amos who kept waking me up, that did the trick. Starting around 6am he'd jump up and curl up next to me for about 5 minutes and then leave. Back again 10 or 15 minutes, on repeat.

I kinda/almost broke my glasses yesterday afternoon. I accidentally bumped one of the nose pads off. The nose pad (for these glasses) has a tiny metal piece attached that goes into the part on the glasses. I tried to put it back in and it went in, but not tight. Uuuughh! In a drawer in my dresser I have like 6 pairs of old glasses. I grabbed all of them to see if any were similar set up. Didn't appear to be, but my last pair at least did seem pretty much the same prescription, so I could wear those in a pinch, if I had to. Then I took a closer look at my nose pad metal piece (it's so tiny) and realized part of it was bent in. Hard to explain but it's kind of like a C shaped and that goes inside the part on the glasses, around the teeny screw. I used the tip of a little knife and bent it back out a bit, and then it went into my glasses and stayed there. I know it's not 100%, but as long as I'm careful and not bumping the nose piece, it should be ok, plus I now know I have the backup pair (I put those in my purse to have). It's time for new glasses anyway. I just haven't gotten off my butt to make an appointment. 

DD and SIL got on the plane about half an hour ago to fly home. They will be back later this afternoon. She is ready to be home and see her pets, too. She said they got in over 100 miles of walking during this trip. 

My plans this weekend are to make an apple pie and taco soup (crockpot). We are supposed to have sunny days in the low 70's. I don't think dh will have any yard work to do. He got it mowed on Wednesday and everything else is done for the season with it. I am just waiting for a couple of frosts to happen and then I will need to cut down all the iris.

What are your weekend plans? 

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Thursday this and that

Another morning I'm supposed to be up and am sound asleep and deep in dreamland. Amos is my wake up service. He wants to be fed and let outside, LOL. I'm chugging my cup of coffee down, hoping to perk up.

The morning daylight is showing it's going to be all blue sky. I did not get to the store in town yesterday. I got busy with something with work and by the time I got done it was almost 4:30 and I didn't feel like going. Maybe today....

Linda - here is the link to the small lightweight binoculars I ordered. $35, but they are 40% off with the coupon checked.   Link

I'll also be able to tell DD some of the cruise items I want to purchase and she will be happy to have some ideas for Christmas, birthday and Mother's Day :)  I see Amazon even sells inexpensive "cruise kits" with various items that people often like/use for a cruise. Lanyards, luggage tags, magnetic hooks for the metal walls/doors, seasick patches, etc.

Both dh and I are still coughing. Every time I answer my phone my hello comes out halfway until I get my voice going. This morning seems to be worse than usual with my coughing.

DD and SIL have their last full day in Scotland today and fly home tomorrow morning. She said it's been wonderful and fun, but she is ready to get back home, after almost 2 1/2 weeks.

Well, I keep getting too busy with work to take a few minutes to come and finish up this post. Guess this is it for today.





Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Cruise planning and apple pie

One of the items I want/need for our cruise next year is a small crossbody bag type purse. I'm not a purse aficionado at all. I usually only have one purse at a time and currently my purse is a big tote type. Not what I would want to carry on a vacation.  I know dd said she bought one for her trip and she just sent me the Amazon link and it's currently like 42% off, for $20. It has exactly what I want: several pockets and slots for some cards. Lots of colors to choose from. It was really hard to decide what color! I've had free prime for the past 2 months and apparently have $7.54 earned from cash back on my Amazon card. I still have free prime for another week or so, so putting the purchase on that card saves another 5%, plus if I choose non-2 day delivery, I get another 1% back. So, this little purse ended up costing me $12.50. Good deal. Especially compared the the $159 cute one that keeps popping up in my Facebook feed, because I looked at it once (but then saw the price and was like naw....). The good thing is I have lots of time to shop and search for good prices and save money.

Another thing I want for the trip is some small lightweight binoculars. We do have a pair that are small,  but I have a feeling we will both want a pair while trying to look at scenery or wildlife, rather than waiting for each other to get done, LOL. Reading several "what to take on your (Alaskan) cruise" blogs there were some small binoculars recommended on Amazon. Regular $35 on sale for $21, so I ordered those, too. I'm saving things to possibly purchase to a folder and will watch prices going forward.

I did sign up for the Royal Caribbean Visa card, so as soon as that arrives in the mail, I'll start using that for all my purchases for this next year, LOL. I have to charge $1000 to earn the $250 on board credit and then all purchases after that will earn a point for every dollar spent and can then use those points to spend on the cruise. Basically 1%.....but a smarter thing to do would be to just do the $1000 charge to earn the $250 (because that's a good deal at 25% reward) and then just keep using my 2% cash back card (or my Walmart 5% cash back on Walmart purchases) I always use and just start taking that cash back to save towards the trip. Then I'll have double the money! Ok, that's a no brainer, I guess. Sometimes talking (or writing) yourself through it, makes it make more sense!

We are finally having a sunny day, after a couple of weeks of daily clouds and/or rain. Only 62 degrees, but at least nice out. I used up the last of my milk this morning, so I may run into town this afternoon to get a few groceries. Otherwise I'll have to tough it out until Saturday, when I go pick up a Walmart order. I like milk, LOL. Plus, if I go in later this afternoon, I can pick up some baked chicken or something for dinner from the deli. This little grocery store has a really nice little deli dept with good food.

I'm craving an apple pie. I have no desire to make an apple pie from scratch LOL, so I'll just cheat and put on my grocery list the frozen pie crusts and canned apple pie filling.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Tuesday that feels like Monday

When I first woke up this morning, I thought it was Monday. I've been sleeping so hard in the mornings lately, when I should be waking up. Except, of course on the weekends. I wake right up and no sleeping in, LOL.

Yesterday dh got the sprinkler system blown out to shut it off for winter. He also replaced the furnace filters and flushed the tankless water heaters (that he didn't do over the weekend). So, he was busy most of the day. Since dh has an air compressor, he can blow out the sprinkler system himself and that saves having to pay to have that done every fall (like our neighbors do). Dh was worn out by afternoon, though.

Yesterday another car came into our street and sat in front of DAN's lots for about 5 minutes and left. Kind of odd. Last week, it was reported that a neighborhood near us, had some theft of some rather large pieces of (expensive) machinery. The properties are kind of spread out and where this theft took place, no houses have view of it, but it is on a corner where people drive by all the time to get to their homes. But anyway, whoever did it, obviously scoped the area out to see what they could steal and when and so that is one of the reasons dh has always paid close attention to unknown vehicles pulling into our street, for no apparent reason.

Yesterday my mom's investment guy called to tell me that one of her CD's matured. Due to her financial needs and to leave some money that is just in cash and quickly available, he put half into a new 1 year CD (at 5.5%) and left the other half in cash. She has another CD that matures in December and then we will also leave those funds in cash and that will be enough for her withdrawal she needs to cover her expenses for next year. I then asked "hey, maybe I wrote the date down wrong, but I thought you were supposed to call last Thursday at 11am to do the quarterly update?" He looks at his calendar (their office manager set up the appointment) and says well, I see a blank spot on my calendar last week for that time, so something went wrong in getting your appt in there! So, he is calling me today, in about an hour. I also needed to do one more smaller transfer of funds to her checking account for the balance of this year and he took care of that for me right then, so I didn't have to call the office manager back to do it (I was waiting until this CD matured, to do the transfer). I'm also expecting to have a large tax refund for her when I file her 2023 taxes. That will be able to go straight into her checking account and be a cushion to use, if needed, rather than tapping into her investments again, for next year. Everything I read on it, says memory care costs are all medically tax deductible, since she needs it for daily living activities. I would think $8000 a month in medical expenses should reduce her federal and state taxes quite a bit! Her investment company withholds taxes (15% fed and 7% state) when she takes withdrawals, so she should get most of that back. 

DD's birthday is next month (28 yrs old), I need to figure out now what to get her. 

Monday, October 2, 2023

Passports and Scotland

I don't have a passport. I double checked and do not need a passport for the cruise, but, it is recommended to have one for an emergency. If by chance, on the one day we are in port in Victoria, BC and we had an emergency where I didn't make it back to the ship and needed to get back into the US via another method, I would definitely need a passport. I'm like, we'll be in Victoria part of one day, what's the odds? I was still trying to decide.

Then I got an email yesterday reminding me I had an appointment at the courthouse in town on Tuesday, morning, to renew my drivers license. I confirmed the appointment. Then I remembered the reason for the appointment (and why I didn't just renew my drivers license online) was to get the REALID license. It's been so long since I made the appointment, I had totally forgotten about it until the reminder yesterday.

This morning I got to thinking - if I decide to get a passport, then I have no need for the cost and time to get the realid license. I asked dh what he thought and he said to just get a passport and that takes care of everything I may possibly need - all my bases are covered with that. So, I just went online with my state and renewed my regular driver's license (for 12 years!) and then went back online to the appointment portal and canceled my appointment for tomorrow. Now, I just need to get the passport taken care of. To renew his passport dh will also need to submit new photos, so next time we are in the city we'll stop in Walgreens and get that taken care of for both of us and get started on the process to apply for mine and renew dh's.

Today dd went to Huntly, Scotland, where my paternal grandfather was born. So cool. There is the Huntly Castle ruins, built in the 12th century, which they toured. One of the photos had the sign out front with some of the history. The clan, who were the Earl's of the castle until like 1850, were named Gordon. My great grandfather's middle name was Gordon and his mother's maiden last name and her parents are Gordon, so I have many x great grandparents going back with that last name. So, I joked with dd, maybe we are related to these Gordon's of the castle :)

Sunday, October 1, 2023

A home maintenance weekend

DH got all the yard weed and bug stuff down yesterday. While he did that I used my steam mop on the shower floor. I really like it for cleaning that. We have a flat pebble like shower floor and it cleans it up nice and with the hot steam I feel like it's all been sanitized. I also steam mopped the kitchen. I'm not liking this mop as much on the laminate. It kind of leaves dried water streaks. It seems I will never find a laminate mop solution/system I like. I also did a little vacuuming.

I texted with my friend a bit about our cruise. She wanted to know if I'm interested in adding the VIP pass and I think that would be a good/smart thing to do. It has some nice perks - most of which involve less waiting in lines, which is hard for dh to stand for long periods. We would get priority embarkation and debarkation, an exclusive welcome lunch (rather than the first buffet lunch) and also dedicated seats for shows we want to see and fast lane for onboard activities. And an internet package. We are also trying to decide on which shore excursions to do. I said let's skip the Victoria BC tours, we've been there a couple of times in the past and I'm sure we can find something to do on our own there. This morning I was able to figure out how to sign in and set up and account and link our reservation and now I can see all the same options friend is looking at. 

Online I see there is also an offer for a Royal Caribbean Visa card, to earn $250 onboard credit to use (after charging $1000 to it). I think I will sign up for that. $250 is a good bonus to earn to put towards our extra costs. Plus, if I just use it as much as possible for my charges over the next 11 months, I can earn more points for onboard credit.

My uncle called and is doing fine. He just had some light symptoms with his Covid. He wants to try Ancestry.com and wanted some info. I told him I think he'd really enjoy it and it's a fun hobby and fun to find the hints and see all the info about people. 

DD and SIL are now in Inverness and this morning they all did a charity 5k run (dd is not a runner haha, but her friend is). From the pics it looks like they all really enjoyed it. They are in Scotland until next Friday and then come home.

I'm waiting for dh to get up this morning, so I can make some blueberry muffins for breakfast. It's not supposed to rain today, but is still overcast and cloudy and only to be 55 degrees for the high. Usually on 1st of October dh flushes out our 2 tankless water heaters with vinegar, so he plans to do that today. Thankfully when we built our house the plumber told dh how to do it to save from having them do it and the high charge.

My assistant is not one of the one people being laid off. It's all full time people, where the company is trying to reduce costs of salaries and benefits. Assistant is now only working 12 hours a week and as long as he's doing ok with that, he's still got a job. His 12 hours a week (and no benefits) and low (compared to every one else) hourly rate wouldn't save the company much overall. It's helping me get caught up and I'd rather not have to train someone new until I really get caught up. The couple of weeks I was sick put me back behind some, so I'm working that back up.