Sunday, December 31, 2023

New Year's Eve

I didn't post yesterday, so I guess I have 2 days to get caught up on. Though nothing much to report for Friday's activities. It was payday, so I paid some bills and did some budgeting. 

I did figure out what to use my $20 Kohl's cash on. I decided on a set of glass food storage containers and an olive oil glass dispenser. Ok, so both were more than $20, of course, but the glass food storage set was $40, after my $20 off. I didn't want to spend $9 in shipping when I could just spend $9 more on something else in my cart and get free shipping. I then found a 15% off code, as well. I used some of my Visa gift card I received from my boss, to pay for the order.

Our game camera out in the front has been showing a group of 5-6 deer in our front yard, every night, pretty much all night. We realized they were actually showing up around 5 or 5:30, just before it gets dark and hanging around most of the night. Last night I looked outside around 5:15 and there were 5 out there. Amos was making a fuss to go outside which is why I went to the door and looked out and then saw them. I'm sure that's why he wanted to go out. I didn't let him out and he was not happy about it, LOL. Here are 4 of them the camera caught

Yesterday after lunch we decided to go over to the used bookstore in the next town. Cute place in a very old house, just stuffed with books and the owner is always so nice to talk to. I ended up finding 5 books for a total of $19. I still have cash in my wallet that has been there since last Memorial day weekend, LOL. I had taken it out for the flea market and never spent it. Gradually since then, I have used the cash some, but still had half of the money in my wallet. It's funny, 3 of the fiction author's I was looking for books of, I couldn't not find any. When you walk inside there are rows of books to the left and right. To the left is fiction, to the right is non fiction. The 3 authors last name all start with C. I looked through the C's twice and was kind of surprised because 2 of them have written a lot of books. As I had my 4 books and going up to pay, dh had been chatting with her the whole time and she went to help someone for a minute and when I got to him he said we needed to get going, he needed to go to the bathroom. So, when she came back I paid and he kept talking to her...and talking some more. So, I just wandered up towards the door and glanced towards the row on the non-fiction side that is along the front window and see a book by one of my "C" authors. Then I turn and look down the row some and there are a whole bunch of "C" fiction books. I never realized there was some separated out in that side! I grabbed one I wanted and paid and we left, but if I had seen all those books before, I would have likely bought some. I was just trying to then hurry out because of dh......when he was the one taking his time, LOL.

In going through some books at home, getting them ready to put in the bookshelves, when they get here, realized I somehow have 2 of the same book, in a series. DD has just started reading the series (I got her the first 4 for her birthday) and this is book 5, so I asked her if she wants it and she does.

DD and SIL are on their way over there this morning. I haven't messaged her yet to see what time they left, as she usually drives the first half and then when they switch, she will message me. Tonight we get to feast on Alaska King Crab legs! We will also exchange our Christmas gifts with them.

Friday, December 29, 2023

A change of plans

Yesterday turned out to be an unplanned excursion. I had emailed the pool table company to ask again what the status is on finding the installer and how much extra. He replied back fairly quickly with the installer changed his mind (I was never told he would do it?!) and isn't going to do it now. Something about this guy sells in our area so he doesn't want to install for them. I don't know. I'm sure it's just that he doesn't want to drive all the way over here. I was told I can either cancel the order with them or try to find an installer on my own that they can deliver the pool table to or have the installer pick up at the freight distribution center in the city.

Since we were going into the city to pick up groceries, we decided to get ready now and leave to stop at a billiards store first. Tell them our situation, see what they say, see if they or they know someone who would install it. It's a husband and wife who own this billiards store. Very nice, about our age. To make a long story short - we ended up purchasing a pool table from them. They explained the quality of the table we bought compared to the Brunswick and Olhausen tables they sell. Also a lifetime warranty on their tables. While the table we picked out isn't as neat looking as the first one I ordered, it's still very nice and rustic. It also comes with a pull out drawer underneath to store the accessories, so we won't need to get a wall rack. Also, they had just gotten one in stock, in the stain color we want. They are going to come install in on the 9th. Yay!

Of course, it's more expensive than the one we first ordered. I knew these tables would be more, which is why we didn't go there in the first place, LOL. But, by the time we'd find our own installer, we'd end up spending almost as much, for a lower quality table. And, since I got the bonus check, I was ok with spending more. Since we never got an answer on how much more would have been added to our cost to have the guy come install it from 150 miles away, it's hard to say exactly how much more this table is costing us...but I'm going to guess $1500 more, but likely not even that much. But, again, it's an Olhausen table, which is one of the best brands.

This is what it looks like

Still keeping in with the rustic/timber look we want. I emailed the guy with the first order back yesterday afternoon, after we got back and told him we decided we want to cancel the order and will figure out something else. I didn't tell him we bought one somewhere else. I haven't heard back yet with a confirmation on canceling and refunding my credit card, but hopefully he does that soon. I hope I don't have to deal with them being slow about it.

We spent almost 2 hours at the billiards store and were an hour late picking up our groceries. Then we stopped at the bank and got my bonus check deposited. Then a stop for a burrito and quesadilla at Taco Time, since it was 3pm and we were hungry. Dh had at least had a sandwich on the way into the city. I had just had a small fruit bar. So, this was basically our dinner, since neither of us was hungry by evening.

The bookcases I ordered (the 2nd time) shipped yesterday and are supposed to be here next Tuesday. So, things are falling into place now.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Just doing this and that

I'm liking this not working a little too much, haha. Well, at least I know when I finally am able to retire, I will enjoy it and not be like Mrs. Neighbor, LOL.  

I got my Walmart order placed online yesterday for pick up between noon and 1pm today. I just put my bonus check in my purse now, to make sure I don't forget to take it with me! I could just see myself leaving it on my desk.

For dinner last night I made chicken quesadillas. With the fresh pico de gallo and a little pepper jack cheese mixed in with the other cheese, they are really good. And easy. I like easy.

I did a little math on my mom's expenses and the $82/mo increase in her social security. Her rent is going up $264 a month, but not until March. I chose a different medicare advantage plan and starting January that will go down $96/mo. So, overall for the whole year her expenses are going up a total of $504, which isn't bad at all. That's of course, not taking into the fact that the m/c could up her care level at any time, if they see fit. I also have a feeling that sometime in the coming months I will be removing the phone from her room, which will save another $20 a month. I'm also going to be doing her tax return asap, as since she's now in m/c, those costs are considered deductible as medical expenses. When she take withdrawals from her IRA, she is taxed at 15% federal and 7% state, so she should have a huge refund coming. It should be enough to cover 2 months of m/c expenses. 

It's also nice to see her retirement funds going back up, with the recent stock market increases. I had to take out over $90k this year to cover her expenses and guess what?...............(I know, I know - I sound like a broken record!) She still has the SAME amount money in her retirement account as she did 4 years ago, when step brother told me she only had 8-10 years of money left.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Enjoying the week off

Yesterday was kind of nice to be done with Christmas and not have to really do much of anything. I just did a few loads of laundry, but I still need to put the clean sheets (and new duvet cover) back on the guest bed. I have a feeling with the pretty flat comforter I have to go inside it, it's not going to look anything like the online photo, LOL.

I read that for these photo's they put in like 2 or 3 duvets inside the cover and I'm sure this is probably a king sized used on a queen to make it look like it hangs down to the floor. I have never in my life got bedding to look like a photo - ever. haha.

Dinner was heated up turkey dinner leftovers. I sure do love that "sensor reheat" button I discovered on my microwave. Comes out perfect and you don't even have to put in a time amount. It just knows.

I got a huge box delivered yesterday from my boss. Inside was 3 of the Christmas decor items from a couple of our mfg's, a gingerbread man tin of candies and a $100 Visa gift card, along with my bonus check. I don't know yet, what I am going to buy with the gift card. 

Ok, I got the bed made with the new duvet cover. I like it, but ya, looks nothing like the one in the photo ;)  Amos is walking in to give his opinion

I placed a Walmart grocery pick up order for tomorrow at noon. I didn't realize the last time we did that was Dec 5th. Man this month has gone fast. I had picked up some grocery items from our store in town and once from the grocery store in the city, so that is why we could go so long in between Walmart orders. It just doesn't seem like it was 3 weeks ago that we were there to pick up an order. I also need to deposit my bonus check at my bank while we are there. I can't deposit it with my phone/mobile, due to their dollar limit of checks. Annoying! If we weren't planning to go into the city soon, I would have just mailed the check out in today's mail, to the bank.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

An enjoyable day and dinner

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We had a good couple of days. I made some blueberry muffins for breakfast yesterday and got the turkey in the oven a little around 10:45 and we ate around 2:30. All was going good until I burned the marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes, LOL. I just scraped the burned marshmallows off into the garbage and the rest of the sweet potatoes in brown sugar and butter tasted fine. Though I did stink up the kitchen a bit. Oops! 

I loved having my new Christmas dinner plates They are a nice large size and my green cloth napkins perfectly matched the green in the trees on the plate (not planned, haha!) DD facetimed wtih us in the morning, so that was nice. She messaged me a few times during the day. They had her husbands parents over and she made a nice ham dinner. While his parents live fairly near them, they stayed overnight with them last night. She is making that egg and sausage casserole I made over Thanksgiving, for their breakfast this morning.

The gift that came all the way from Istanbul, Turkey - it's some nice large metal artwork! We got it hung up yesterday in the bonus room. A bit of a challenge to put up! It is 2 pieces. We will be mounting that tv on the wall a bit higher, so it should look better once that is done.

The other cute gift dh got me was a canvas sign to hang above the door into the bonus room. It's like this (though not my picture, as I don't want to show our last name).

No plans today, other than I am doing some laundry. 

When we visited my mom, dh did ask one of the staff, as we were leaving, what happened to the lady in the room my mom shared a bathroom with. She said her family moved her out. We said oh, that's good, we were afraid she passed away. The staff girl said she heard they moved her because they thought she really didn't belong in memory care....If that's true, that's kind of weird....I mean, I don't know how long she lived there before my mom moved in, but if she didn't really need m/c when they moved her in, then why not just have her live in the assisted living part of the facility? Or why leave her in m/c for at least a year? Of course, it's none of our business - we were mostly just wondering if she had passed away and were happy to hear she had not.

I have $20 in Kohl's cash I need to use up. Grrr. LOL. I don't even know what to get, but don't want to just let $20 expire. I have until the 31st to use it and figure out what to buy. Maybe I'll just re-order those tennis shoes, that at some point I need to return the ones I got to the actual store. I would likely cost me at least $10 to ship them back, along with 20 miles round trip to the post office. 

I suppose I should make my way back downstairs to the kitchen to get myself some breakfast. My stomach is grumbling.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas

Enjoy (my first ever attempt at a slideshow!)


Sunday, December 24, 2023

Quiet holiday days

Other than worrying about my mom a bit, yesterday was a relaxing day. Around 11 am we went over to some nearby friends new place and visited with them for an hour or so. As the crow flies, their place is probably like a mile from us, but they are on the other side of the river, so it's about a 5 mile drive to drive down to the bridge and then back over to their place, LOL. They live in a little "valley" area with lots of hay fields and it's very common to see deer and elk and as we were leaving we did see 4 elk out in a field.

I did do a little online research about edema. While it could be something more serious (like congestive heart failure), it's much more common that it's the more "benign" edema, common in elderly and then add in the fact that she is overweight and lack of activity, only adds to the chances of it being from those conditions. It's also possible that during the almost couple weeks of Covid, she was likely much less active and has likely still been tired from it (I know it took dh and I a long time to get back to our normal energy) so not being as active. And supposedly getting up and moving around is helpful for it, she ends up in kind of a catch 22 because of it, she doesn't feel like walking....

I still need to wrap dh's gift, LOL. It's hidden in one of the guest bedroom closets. It's just a book - but it's one that is out of print, so it was about triple normal book prices. It's a used copy, of course, but looks to be in like new condition.

I noticed an Amazon Prime show (Reacher) dh and I had watched together last year is now out with season 2, so I will suggest we watch that tomorrow or start this evening. Last night I watched a movie I had never seen before. It was quite popular (20 years ago) and I'm not sure why I never saw it. Love Actually. I enjoyed it and it's one of those movies I can see myself watching again. Like the other day I watched The Holiday. I can't tell you how many times I have watched that over the years. I still need to watch Home Alone and I set it to record with our streaming service, so maybe I'll watch that sometime today or later this evening.

Dinner last night was another dish of chicken enchiladas. I had some tortillas and sour cream left over from last weekend, so decided to make them again. Easy and tasty. I was out of "colby jack" cheese and only had cheddar, but it tasted just as good. I'm not sure what I am making for dinner tonight. It kind of depends on what time we go in to see my mom today. If it's after lunch that we visit her, then we'll likely swing in some fast food and grab something for an early dinner on the way home. If not, I'll probably just make some homemade burgers. The turkey is thawing in the fridge to make tomorrow.

Still no snow (a few flakes fell yesterday) but it's a cold chilly morning at 14 degrees out right now.

Ok, this was new and odd: I just placed an order with Walmart online for shipping. As I was checking out it popped up a map with a "pin" on supposed address for delivery and says "please confirm your delivery address with the pin". Well, not really close to my address on the map, LOL. It was about 10 miles away on the other side of town. I zoomed out and moved the map to where my house is and tried to pin it on my location and it then said pin was too far away from delivery address! Ok....whatever, so I just then choose "skip" haha.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Saturday stuff

Let the 2 weeks off work begin! Wooohooo! I don' think I've ever taken 2 full weeks off before. 10 days, at the most and not very often with that. I got everything done to be prepared to be off. My boss also told me that after the first of the year she is putting assistant on probation, so hopefully that's the start of getting rid of him. He's been working remote from his parents place (he went to stay with them on break) and had told me he was going to work his 4 hours a day next Tues-Fri...well our office is closed, no one is working, even remotely, so my boss told him he can't work next week. Good. She told me she doesn't trust him to actually work, so she just told him sorry, no working next week since we are closed.

I see this morning I got the refund to my credit card for the bookcases, so that wasn't too long - 2 days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes smooth with my new order. My library card catalog cabinet looks lonely by itself in that long hallway, LOL.

Later this morning, before lunch, we are going to run over to our friends and see their new place and drop off the little housewarming gift (a personalized snow globe). That's about all we have to do today. I'll likely do some bathroom cleaning and some laundry. I'm not sure what time we will go see my mom tomorrow - either right before lunch or just after, most likely. 

Well, now I just got a call from the m/c coordinator. My mom's feet are kind of swollen and she says it hurts to walk. She is going to give her some tylenol and keep her off her feet today and use a wheelchair to get her to meals. The nurse comes in later and she will see what she thinks and then put in a call to her doctor (the one that comes to see them in m/c) to see what she thinks. Mom does have a 4 month follow up appt with her doctor in less than 2 weeks, but if this keeps up, we may not want to wait that long. I think she'll see if staying off her feet for now will help. From what I gather, reading about it online, it's common in elderly and 70% of the time is not serious, just annoying. But, I'm sure a check out by her doctor can determine that one way or the other. 

I guess I'm ready for Christmas. Pretty easy since it will be a quiet one with just me and dh. I am making a turkey dinner with the fixings on Christmas Day.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Dementia sucks

It was kind of a sad visit with my mom. She was sitting with a couple other residents at a table (each just in their own little world) and when I got up next to her and said hello, I could tell there was no spark of recognition in her eyes, like there usually is. She might not always remember my name right off the bat, but she always knows that I am someone she knows. (and will often tell others "this is my daughter"). We very slowly (slower than usual) walked back to her room, so I could cut her hair. So, at least that's an improvement. As I was leaving I went to use the bathroom just outside her room (for employees and guests) but it was locked. The other lady she shares a bathroom with, in between their rooms, door is just next to this guest bathroom. I noticed her name sign on her door was empty. When I got back into my mom's room I went in through her bathroom and looked into the other room. All empty :(  I'm not sure if she passed away or moved out. She had been there since before my mom moved in.

I stopped at the grocery store for a few things and then the bank. By then traffic and parking lots were getting pretty bad. Pre-Christmas madhouse I'm sure. It took me 3 cycles through a light just to get out of the bank parking lot. Thankfully that was all I wanted/needed to do in the city and I got on the main road and headed back home.

After I got home, I called Walmart since it's now been 48 hours that the seller had to respond on the bookcases. Due to the dollar amount of my order the agent had to transfer me to a "higher up" department, so I was on hold about 10 minutes, but then within a couple of minutes that agent put through my refund. She said it would take 3-5 days to show up on my credit card. I've always wonder why a charge shows up instantly, but a credit always takes several days, LOL.

Now, I need to decide on where to order them from. There are several other sellers of the same bookcases, but all of them are going to cost me about $100 more than Walmart, plus I'm going to end up losing that 10% Rakuten cash back, which was a nice rebate.

It was nice having the whole day off yesterday, rather than trying to just take a half day and feel rushed. I even got a good nap in later in the afternoon. 

It doesn't feel like a Friday, today. I have to get payroll processed and a quarterly state tax return done, for sure. Then just make sure a few bills are prepaid, since I'm going to be off for 2 weeks. Two weeks! I'm so ready :)

Thursday, December 21, 2023

A nice suprise

Some very good news yesterday from my boss: I'm getting a year end bonus! She sent me a list to cut checks for, and in addition to the management, only 7 "regular" employees are getting a bonus, and I am one of them. And a nice $5,000 bonus, at that! That was sure a nice, welcome surprise to hear about. I was not expecting anything this year at all, not even hoping they might.

Every year, this week, dh tries to catch the garbage man to give him a little Christmas gift. He usually comes around 7:30 am most weeks, but sometimes as early as 6am. So, dh has been up since 6 am waiting, LOL. It's now 7:50am.....ok, he just showed up. The only one we have left is for FedEx and I don't show anything is coming from them this week. Maybe next week and it can be a New Years gift. We just don't have as much delivered from FedEx as UPS and now USPS (as they are delivering most of the Amazon orders in our area, now).

With the change in my mom's medicare advantage plan, I was thinking this new (lower cost) plan probably doesn't include that $200/yr OTC benefit, but it does. It's all stuff that has to be ordered from their OTC website, so it's much higher priced than you can get it retail, but it's still a decent benefit and a good way to stock up on some stuff like acetaminophen, itch cream and neosporin.

I'm leaving to go see my mom and other errands in about a half hour. When I get back early this afternoon, I will be calling Walmart again to proceed with getting my refund, since the seller never responded to them or me. Hopefully, it doesn't take too long to get the refund. I don't want to buy the bookcases somewhere else before I know I have the refund. My luck, if I ordered them again, I'd get a message about the first order that said "your bookcases have shipped!". and I'd be out $2k, instead of $1k and have 4 extra bookcases I don't need.

The weather is clear and dry for driving. No snow. I'll take advantage of this while I can.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Still no bookcases

Dh was able to figure out a little bit more on the tracking for the bookcases with the help of our UPS driver.  Dh gave him the tracking # and as I suspected the package was not even my name or address. It was a small .30 lb package for someone about 5 miles from us, left at their place. Somehow Walmart or the 3rd party seller, got that tracking# attached to my order. Our UPS guy said this was a delivery down at the RV place. They have a shed where all the packages are left and this is a picture from there. He did not drop off 4 bookcases, LOL. 

So, I got on the phone with a live Walmart agent. Pretty sure the guy was from India, but he sure was a sweetheart, LOL. He said he escalated the issue to their back off team and they will reach out to the seller and if the seller doesn't contact me within 24-48 hours, Walmart will refund me the money. He kept saying "don't worry, Walmart will refund you, if the seller doesn't respond or deliver it".  Still a bummer.  I've ordered from Walmart 3rd party sellers before with no issue. The library card cabinet was from a 3rd party seller and it came very quickly, just as described. I'm thinking this wrong tracking # that got attached to my order is Walmart's error. What are the odds that someone 5 miles from me would order something from the same 3rd party seller, for the seller to get the tracking mixed up....pretty sure this is something Walmart did, in error. But, why the seller is not contacting me or Walmart about our inquiries is also not promising, that I am going to end up getting my bookcases from them. That's too bad, because at the time I ordered I also got a 10% cash back from Rakuten, which I will end up not getting and to reorder I will not get the 10% cash back, as that deal is done. Reordering is going to cost me more for the bookcases.

My guess is the bookcases have never shipped yet. If they had shipped to my address, either via UPS or FedEx, even if they didn't get the tracking attached to my order, the shipment would show up when I log into my UPS and FedEx accounts to see what is on it's way to my address. There is nothing coming.

I tried to call my mom Monday, but it was either unplugged or off the hook. But, I tried again yesterday, at 11:10 and she answered. She sounded a little better/more awake than last time, but she's also just seeming to be very "unaware" and where she used to just be able to chit chat about general stuff and at least make a good attempt at conversation, she doesn't seem to know what to talk about now. I mentioned it was Christmas next week and she seemed to have no clue about it, or even to seem to remember what it was. Then as we were talking, staff knocked and opened her door to apparently some Christmas carolers who were going through the place to say hello to the residents and sing. They said hello to her and she back and then I heard them start singing and I said "oh, they are singing you Christmas songs!" She didn't seem to really know what they were singing. Sad :(  Plus, the past month she has no longer called me, like she was doing once or twice a week, on average.

I recently read that one of my favorite sci-fi book series is going to be made into a show on Apple+tv. I'm so excited. I'm sure it will be quite awhile before it's streamed, but I will definitely watch it. It's the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. It's about a sarcastic robot/part human that just wants to be left alone to watch soap operas, doesn't like people, but always ends up helping humans, LOL. 

I'm going to take tomorrow off work. I want to see my mom and I still need to give her a haircut! Visit before last, I left the scissors in the truck with dh and he went off to do shopping. Last visit was the day after Thanksgiving and I wasn't going to cut her hair with dh, dd and sil there. Plus we spent most of that visit trying to find her glasses. Then she got Covid. Plus, I need to get into our bank for some cash for dh. He wants $100 bills. We will be back in on Christmas eve, but the bank won't be open, of course. He will need to pay the guy who is restoring his old rifle and wants to have the cash on hand when it's ready. I think he also wants some of the cash so he can go order/pay for the flowers he always has delivered on our anniversary next month.

One of our manuf's for work sent everyone at the office some really cute little Christmas statues - one a Santa and one a snowman. My boss sent an email with the picture to let everyone know they were in the game room if anyone wanted to take one. I was just reading the email and thinking - oh! those are so cute! Wish I was in the office to get one, haha. Then my boss messaged me - do you want me to send you one of each? Yes, please :)

About a week and a half ago I mailed in a check to my mom's m/c place, to the attention of one of the administrators. It still hasn't cleared her bank account yet, so I just emailed the lady again, to ask if it was received. I'm getting tired of keeping track of things! 

And when I tried to log into work this morning, something had gotten changed with NetExtender, so I had to wait until our IT company was open, to call and have them fix it. I thought it strange this morning, when I get to my desk/computer and could see my computer had restarted during the night. Then I went to click on my NetExtender icon on my desktop to get logged into work and it's not there. Well, it was still on my desktop - just moved to a different spot....very weird. Then the login wouldn't work.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Crabby and annoyed

Oooh, I am on high annoyance mode today. 

First off my much anticipated bookcases are lost! They were supposed to deliver yesterday. For some reason I thought it was FedEx delivering and by dinner they hadn't shown up. Then I see that I got an email from Walmart that they were delivered via UPS at 1:45pm. No....they were not. Plus our UPS guy had been here at 11:45am. This is the delivery proof on the tracking# for my order

Definitely not my house/property. Plus, the tracking# says the package is .3 pounds. Huh? Each bookcase weighs 96 pounds and I ordered 4. Not sure if they would ship in 4 boxes or what, but if one box, it would weigh almost 400 pounds. Does this picture look like 4 bookcases are there?

I can't do anything with UPS because I'm not the shipper. UPS won't even give the address that this tracking# has on it. I'm wondering if the shipper attached the wrong tracking number to my order. I contacted Walmart, who says to wait 48 hours and see if it shows up. No, I'm not waiting 48 hours. It obviously didn't go here, to me. So, then they said they put in a message to the seller (3rd party Walmart seller) about it and I should hear back in 48 hours...I also tried clicking on "contact seller" via Walmart but it just keeps saying "technical difficulties". Another thing is that I have a UPS account and can see all deliveries coming to my address and there is nothing coming with bookcases, and that tracking# they attached to my order does not show up in my UPS deliveries for my address. Just very annoyed and frustrated as they cost almost $1000 and are either lost or never got shipped.

UPS did deliver some tennis shoes I ordered from Kohl's. In a size 6ww. What?! I ordered a size 7N. When you click on the shoe w/Kohl's the default page opens up to narrow sizes. There is no way I clicked on Wide and then size 6....but apparently I did! That's what it showed I ordeAnd to return them I have to pay shipping, which will likely cost almost as much as the shoes did! I'm so annoyed. I will just have to go out of my way and go to Kohl's in the city and return them to the store. But, I can't get the shoes there and to re-order with Kohls, I won't get the same price, as I had a 40% off coupon. 

And still no update from the company I ordered the pool table from.

Then this morning, I'm working on sending out statements to customers with past due invoices. I am also attaching the invoice to the email, because I know 90% of them will reply back with "can you send me the invoice?". I get a reply from one guy "what is this for?"'s for the invoice I attached with YOUR PO#. Here it is again and I'm also attaching YOUR PO for you.......Look up your own damn PO!

I just met Mrs. Neighbor at the fence to give them the Christmas cookies I made. So, one more thing off my to-do list.

Going to the post office, instead of using UPS, saved about $35 yesterday. Plus I stopped at the grocery store again and got a couple gallons of milk. Now, we should be able to make it until next week, after Christmas, to do another Walmart pickup. Plus I'll be off work and it will be easier to go in and not be trying to work around my work schedule. We do plan to go in and see my mom on Christmas Eve, but I don't really want to pick up groceries on that day. 

Our small town post office is so much nicer to mail packages then when I lived in the big city life. I told dh that trip to mail 2 packages at our post office where we lived for 27 years would have been at least 30 minutes waiting in a very long line. Just finding parking was hard. This post office has one clerk and when I walked in, someone was just paying and I was next. I think I was in there all of about 2 or 3 minutes. At least now my packages are mailed, as well as the Christmas cards (I don't send out too many, less than 10, is all.

Our retired friend from, from town, stopped by yesterday as well. His black lab puppy sure is growing and a sweet girl. 8 months old already. I gave him some cookies to take. 

I'm so bummed about the bookcases.

Monday, December 18, 2023

A dirty kitchen and sticker shock

I got quite a bit done yesterday, even though I never got too excited about it all, LOL. I made the sugar cookie dough to chill for 2-3 hours. Cleaned the kitchen again. Wrapped the gifts for the delivery people and a gift to mail to a friend. I also wrapped the gift to the wife of our couple friends. The husband half was getting peanut butter cookies and some Christmas sugar cookies, so I couldn't wrap those until I made them. I was planning on printing out UPS labels and sending these packages with our UPS guy on Monday. I went to create the one label for the package that was ready - 2.2 pound box....cost $29 with a discount code! The other box that will go to our Texas friends would weigh just a bit more. Holy cow - $60 to mail 2 packages?! So, I checked pricing with USPS and it says approx $16 each. So, I guess we are running into town to mail these at the post office today. Geez! Next year I think I will get them gifts that I can ship direct, with free shipping, LOL.

I used my new silcone mat to roll out the dough and at least that was much better to keep the dough from sticking, so at least I was much less frustrated with that part. My first sheet of cookies I baked at the minimum time on my recipe and it overcooked some of them a bit. I was happy that for the most part they did hold their cookie cutter shapes. So, I turned the oven down 10 degrees and did the next sheet for the same length of time and they came out good. I got done with those. Cleaned the kitchen again. Then it was time to make dinner. Ate. Cleaned the kitchen again.

I texted with my half sis a bit. I was procrastinating with making the peanut butter cookies. They are just from the pre made bag mix. Literally takes me like a half hour to make the 2 dozen. I was telling myself I could just do it when I got up in the morning. Finally, at 7:30pm I just made myself make them and get it done with. Cleaned the kitchen again. Once they were cooled, just before I went to bed I got them packed up, along with some of the sugar cookies. I found a square Christmas cookie tin in my cupboard, so I use that to pack up his cookies. And used small type bubble wrap sheets to try to keep them from breaking. I don't think the peanut butter cookies will break, but the sugar cookies probably will.

I'm so excited to get my bookcases today. Dh will keep busy assembling them. 

And here is a cute picture of Amos to end today's post

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Slow Sunday morning

I woke up yesterday morning with a headache and never really shook it off and kept waking up during the night with my head still pounding. This is likely the major reason I am so tired, but not sure what is causing the headache. I just assumed it was because I stayed up so late and didn't get enough sleep the night before - and all the sugar sweets.

Just before I got up from my nap yesterday, dh had laid down for a nap. I had seen the email notification that FedEx delivered the library card catalog cabinet, while I was napping. I just assumed dh had seen them come (we had been watching for them all day, plus the neighbors dogs would bark about it) but when he got up he said no, he didn't know. So, he went out to the gate with his handcart and brought it in. At least it all came in one piece and nothing to put together, LOL. It's really cute! I like it. I sent a picture of it to dd and she said "CUUUUUTE!!" I checked on tracking for the bookcases and now they are supposed to arrive tomorrow!

It will be a little shorter than the bookcases, which is fine, but I may have dh build a little pedestal to raise it up. I'll just wait and see how it all looks when the bookcases get here.    

I interrupt this post due to not being able to type.....

My Christmas dinner plates also arrived Friday. They are really nice and a good deal for $32 they ended up costing me.  Nice earthen ware and large sized.

I don't really know what I'm doing today. Again, just not feeling much gumption to do much. I do have to get my 2 friends gifts wrapped and ready to ship (procrastination!) and one of the gifts for the guy of our couple friend (the ones we are going on the cruise with) I'm making peanut butter cookies, which I wanted to wait to make as close to shipping out as possible. I also need to get my cards out in the mailbox tomorrow morning.

I think I'm just ready to have 2 weeks off work - haha! One more week to go.  Dh will be kept busy putting 4 bookcases together tomorrow ;)

I really need to try to make my sugar cookies as well....I need some motivation and probably some luck for these one's to turn out.       

Saturday, December 16, 2023

The overnight guests

Our friends arrived around 4:30 Friday afternoon and left about 2:30 this afternoon. You wouldn't think that would be too tiring, but it is, LOL. I had spent the 2 1/2 hours before they got here making cookies. The shortbread cookies turned out great - the rosettes not so much. For some reason they weren't crispy/flakey, not sure how to describe. I don't seem to be having much luck in the cookie making department this year. I'm not holding out hope for my sugar cookies, that I usually make, either. I guess tomorrow will tell.

For dinner I made chicken enchiladas, along with some refried beans and a salad. I was going to buy some ranch dressing (I realized the bottle I had in my fridge had long expired) and then remembered I have some packets of Hidden Valley ranch, so with added milk and mayo, I had dressing.

It's very tiring for me to stay up late and I didn't go to bed until 12:30 and even going to bed later doesn't let me sleep in, other than I got up about a half hour later than normal. So, I was up at 7:30 and dh got up, too....not really knowing what time our guests would get up. Well, they slept in (plus it was an hour earlier for their body clocks) until like 9:45. I'm glad I didn't plan anything special for breakfast. I was hungry by 9, so I just ate, and I knew dh couldn't get up at 7:30 and not eat soon, so I made his normal egg sandwich.

Around 3pm I took a nap for a little over an hour. I'm still feeling tired. Feeling like maybe I've had too much sugar lately. Friend had made and brought a delicious bundt cake, so I had that last evening, too. I think for dinner for us tonight I'll make dh a burger with some leftover salad and I'll just have a salad.

The (replica) library card catalog cabinet arrived while I was napping. Now dh is napping, so I haven't seen it yet.

The bookcases shipped out on Friday, so should be here mid/late next week. I did call about the pool table...they still don't have an answer from the installer - he said they were still waiting to hear back on when he would want to install it, so they can arrange the delivery date to him. So, then I asked did he tell you how much extra the "remote fee" is going to be? No..he hasn't given us that yet either...he's kind of been him-hawing, but should get an answer from the installer on Monday.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Busy Friday

TGIF. Going to be a busy day today. Yesterday I went into town to get a few things at the grocery store. I picked up a couple tubes of sugar cookie dough and some other type of premade cookie dough that are already cut and have a snowman imprinted on them. I made them after dinner. The tube cookie dough turned out totally flat cookies. The snowman are cute little cookies, but honestly neither of them taste very good to me. Just an added strange taste...probably due to the preservatives and crap they add in. 

So, I'm going to take an early lunch break and whip up another batch of the shortbread cookies and quit work at 2pm and see if I have some time to do some rosette cookies before our friends arrive around 4pm. Probably just try to do a half recipe. I guess I'm sticking with good old regular ingredients - flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla.... At least store bought bakery cookies are better than these pre made dough cookies...bleh! I won't ever be buying these again. I used to buy the tub of premade Nestle's choc chip cookie dough years ago, and those weren't too bad.

I got a letter in the mail yesterday from mom's m/c that in March the rent will go up $264/mo. I assumed there would be an increase in the couple hundred dollar range. At least she has been able to stay at the same care level, so far, since she moved in. 

DD and SIL were at Costco last night, so they checked the price on Alaska King crab legs. $30/lb, so much better than $70 or $80. We will have to figure out how much for them to get when they come over for New Years. Probably 4 or 5 pounds. She's going to check the price at the regular grocery store they go to, as well.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Trying to get some ambition by tomorrow

So, dh (after we made an agreement NOT to exchange gifts this Christmas!) has been ordering me gifts. He has his wrapping station all set up in the bonus room, LOL. As the gifts arrive, he wraps them up. He's been waiting on one gift, watching the tracking.....T'Pol - you will get a laugh out of this one - apparently he didn't realize an order he made was coming from Istanbul, Turkey! I think he must have ordered something from Etsy. Yesterday tracking showed it was in Nashville, TN. He was just relieved it made it to the states, after he realized it was coming from overseas. Today the package shows up. He was so relieved, LOL. I can't imagine what he ordered, but I will be sure to post what it is, after Christmas.

We are having friends come and they will be staying over tomorrow night. I didn't find out they were coming until the day after I did my last grocery order. Now I need to figure out what to make for dinner tomorrow. I hate cooking meals for other people (I don't mind breakfast, too much). I am just never confident in my cooking abilities. I'm trying to decide between my chicken enchiladas or homemade mac and cheese. I think the enchiladas will be much easier to make. But, I need some tortillas, so I guess I will need to run into town today or tomorrow at lunch time and get a few things. 

I really wanted to have at least a couple kinds of holiday cookies made to have on hand and to give a box to our guests to take with them, but I just haven't had the ambition yet, especially with how bad my hips/lower back has been hurting the past 2 days. It is somewhat better today. Has anyone tried the pre-made sugar cookie dough? I'm thinking of just getting some of that to at least make some easy cookies. I'm sure they probably taste fine. Maybe during lunch tomorrow I'll feel like making a batch of rosette's to go with the sugar cookies.

My keratosis spot on my back is really going away. It seems to reduce by about half every day. I should be back to wearing a bra here any day now, LOL.

My new jeans arrived yesterday. I decided to try the high waisted jeans. 2 "regular" and one is "curvy" with a bit of stretchiness. I put this pair on this morning and like it. My other jeans are mid waisted and constantly feeling like they are falling off my hips, weather they are loose or tight (I have 2 sizes). I'm tired of always hitching up my pants! Must be from getting old, LOL. 

DH's buddy called again last night and dh answered "I know - 30 minutes" and friend said, no only 15 minutes this time. Dh said "then what the hell did you even call me for anyway?!" 😂

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Blinded by the light

The Edison light bulbs I got for the pool table light arrived. Bright! Well, we've figured out that really the issue is that the fixture has no light diffusing panels in it. Like here is an example of one that has the light diffusing panels....

This lamp is $1200. Hence, the reason I didn't get it! The lamp I got was $355, plus shipping. Apparently this is some kind of material called "mica". I have found it online, but so far only in sheets that are 36"..of course I need it to be a little over 37". This is my light fixture (not picture of my actual light):

The light coming through it, with our bulbs in, is super bright and almost at eye level because it will be hanging down above the pool table. Oh my goodness. I looked and looked online for something to use. Something I could just cut out in the panel shapes and glue/adhere inside the light fixture. I googled diffuser panels, everything I could think of and couldn't find anything, except white. I found some flexible plastic sheets that you can cut, but they are almost a white and I don't think would look good lining the fixture, behind the nature scenes. I was getting frustrated.

Then I came across this lampshade paper. It's not very expensive, but I think (HOPE!) will work to diffuse the light somewhat and look ok. If that doesn't work, I don't know what to try. I can try getting some amber tinted light bulbs, which may help, but we are worried that they won't be bright enough, shining down onto the table. I'll try the paper first before buying more bulbs.

I don't know what I did to my hips/lower back, but by the end of yesterday, I was hurting and still am today. I can barely bend over. Well, I can bend over, it just really hurts to go back up.

I finally got through to my mom on her phone again. The last time she answered it was Monday last week! (then, when I called m/c last Friday they put her on their phone). I have been trying at least a couple times a day. It was about 10:15 when I called. She sounded tired and I could tell she didn't really know who I was. Hoping it's just that she was napping and I woke her up. The other interesting change (pretty much since she got sick with Covid) is she hasn't called me herself. She used to call me every few days. When I asked her if she was just sitting in her recliner resting, she said "recliner?" I then said your chair and she said she wasn't sure what she had just been doing.  I see from her telephone call log, online, the last time she tried to call me was Nov 21st, just before Thanksgiving. Sadly, I have a hunch maybe the end of her calling me has arrived.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Tuesday and a little TMI

Yesterday was a decent day. It was nice to finally have my IT issue resolved and not deal with that. Today I have to process payroll, but I did some pre-work on it yesterday.

At the end of November my side job accounting program needed an update. I had emailed their IT (and cc'd side job boss) but never heard back last week. I was too busy dealing with my regular job IT issues to worry about it. I finally had time to get back to it yesterday and was about to email my side job boss to ask her about it again and decided to log in first and see - maybe they updated it and then just never told me. Apparently they did. I took my lunch break and got myself all caught up with their work. That was satisfying and happy I didn't have to try to contact their IT about it again.

In TMI - I've had this seborrheic keratosis spot on my back for awhile. It's right under my bra strap and hasn't been an issue until recently. It kept getting bigger and with it being under my bra strap it is getting irritated. I don't know much about them, but apparently they are totally harmless and common to get on your back when you get old, ha, and don't typically need to be removed. I couldn't find any home remedy, so planned to have my dr. look at it, either on my next annual visit next March, or sooner if it gets bigger, to get it removed. Then I remember I had some old prescription ointment I was prescribed one time for an eczema spot on my back. I still have a little bit left in the tube, so I started applying it at night about a week or so ago. It's helping a lot. It's getting smaller. I haven't been wearing my bra, because the couple of times I have worn it the past week or so, when I take it off at night, it snags and pulls some of it off. I think maybe a couple/few more days of the ointment and maybe it will come off and hopefully have enough of the ointment left to apply for another week. I know when I had the eczema spot I had to apply for 2 weeks and then it was gone. Keeping my fingers crossed this does the trick, at least until I go into my annual checkup and I can ask her about it, without having to go in sooner.

I had picked up a set of string lights for the new Christmas tree with my grocery order, but they substituted and I didn't realize the sub was "cool white" lights. That just didn't go with any of the other lights on everything else, so I ordered another set, from Lowe's, that came, so now I have to re-do the lights. I was going to have to take it all off and re-do it anyway, as I put the rows too close together and ran out before I got to the bottom.  DH said he'll find something else outside to use this cool white string set for.

I see our neighbors went all out and put some tiny sets of lights hanging on their 3 garage lights 😆. They usually don't put up ANY lights, so this is a big step! LOL. Our house/property lights can probably been seen from space, LOL.

Monday, December 11, 2023


It snowed most of the morning yesterday. Was peaceful out the windows while making the banana bread. About halfway during my afternoon nap Mrs. Neighbor called and wanted to drop off some Christmas cookies she made, so I had to get up, haha. She really liked my new nutcracker banners at the front porch. She had the cookies and some hershey's kisses in a really cute little box. I'll have to save the box. It has a lid with a flap that magnets to the side of the box to close.

After the snow got done coming down, dh shoveled out in front of the garage and shop and later in the afternoon did a quick plow of the driveway and street.

I had a chance to review my mortgage escrow statement and the $200/mo increase is correct, as almost half of the increase is due to them already paying out my higher insurance in August and the first half of the higher property tax a few weeks ago, causing an escrow shortage and then them using the new amounts for my payment going forward. I think I may just pull the shortage out of savings and pay that, so my house payment is only up $100. I haven't decided yet. I guess it works out either way, though next year (because our property is only assessed every 2 years, the taxes are usually pretty much the same for the 2 years) I should not have a shortage, so it should go back down by the $100 shortage I was paying to make up.....I think? LOL. They gave a remittance slip to mail in the shortage payment in full, if I chose to do that, but no date when it is due by. It said I could also pay it online, but no date there. My past mortgage companies annual escrow notices were much more informative - showing a date needed by and also if you do pay it, then $XX is what your new monthly payment will be. I guess I'll call and see when it's due by. The new payment amount doesn't start until my Feb 1st payment is due.

One of my plans, for this house when we built, was to have some sort of bookcase(s) along the wide hallway wall that goes upstairs to the bonus room. It was always going to be someone was going to build them for us, or dh was going to build them. 4 1/2 years later and still nothing. I found some wood bookcases online that I showed dh and he was relieved, as he just really does not like building stuff. I have had the bookcase saved on my computer (in my "House" folder) for quite awhile. I just found them about $50 cheaper right now through an online seller. We need 4 of them. Plus I want a "library card catalog cabinet" in between two of the bookcases, in the middle of the wall. A real antique one is super hard to find (I have looked the past few years), nor do I want to pay $2500 for one. I found a replica that will be good enough, so I am getting all this ordered as well. I'm tired of waiting for my "library" I have always wanted. I don't have enough books to fill up that much of bookcases, but at least I'll now have the bookcases and can add to it, as I go. Used books are just fine with me. I want to start getting some of my favorite books to add to the bookcases.  I will also add some knickknack decor on the shelves as well, to take up space. These should be here mid next week. I'm still waiting to hear back on the delivery and installation cost and timeline for the pool table. If I don't hear anything by tomorrow, I'll check back in with the company I ordered it from.

The past 3 or 4 days my computer is starting to run noisy every so often. That's probably not a good sign. Could be the hard drive or the fan? Sounds kind of like a hard drive spinning noise, but I'm not for sure. I got this computer almost 4 years ago (will be 4 years in Feb). Next time I have to talk to one of our IT guys, I will ask them about the noise. It also probably wouldn't hurt for me to open it up and see if any dust needs to be cleaned out. It's doing it a lot more today. At least anything work related would not be lost if it crashes, as my work "desktop" is on the server at work. I just use this to VPN into my work. For all my personal stuff on this computer I do have it all backed up to a cloud back up service, so I would be able to restore it all to a new computer. At least that's how it's supposed to work and what I'm paying $80 a year for! I haven't had to use it yet, but it will be worth it when I do. I have dh's computer backing up to it, as well. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Shortbread and snow Saturday

I have woken up to a couple inches of snow and it's still snowing. Amos went out for all of about 2 minutes. I just had my coffee and one of the shortbread cookies I made. They are good and were super easy to make, though if I make them again I will double the recipe as it only makes 2 dozen. I will probably make them when I make Christmas cookies closer to Christmas. Which I don't know when I'm going to do that, now that next weekend will be busy with some friends coming for the weekend. I kind of wanted to make them next weekend, so I'd have some to give away during the week before Christmas. I may have to bite the bullet and do some evening baking, I guess.

DD called last night and they are planning to come back over for New Year's Eve and stay a couple nights. We will just wait and exchange our gifts then, rather than mailing. They got dh a couple boxes of ammo and that would be heavy/costly to mail, that's for sure. Years ago, when the kids still lived at home I would get Alaska king crab legs for New Years eve dinner. I wonder if you can even get that here in MT?! LOL. Maybe I'll have dd pick some up and they can bring it over in a cooler. I'll have her check on that. (if sil likes crab, that is).

My mortgage escrow annual statement came in the mail yesterday. I was definitely expecting it to go up a little over $100 a month due to property tax and insurance increases, but not got up $200 a month. I haven't taken a look at the details yet, to figure out why/how they come to the calculation. I hate when I am wrong estimating - especially by double!

I left my kitchenaid mixer out on the counter after baking the cookies yesterday, since I plan to just use it again today to make some banana bread. I have enough ripe bananas that I may make 2 loaves and freeze one to have next weekend. I have 2 loaf pans. One very old and one maybe 10 years old. I had bought the new one years ago to replace the old old one...but for whatever reason the old one bakes the loaf much better than the new one. The new one over cooks it and after using it a couple times (and trying to adjust the time down the 2nd time) I just kept the old one and have used that ever since. It was the same thing with my cookie sheets. The new one (which I think was kind of a more expensive good one my mom had given me as a gift years ago) always overbaked the bottom of cookies, so I still use my old one most of the time. 

I did just buy one of those silicone mats to try on the baking sheet and used it yesterday on my newer cookie sheet. The cookies came out fine and cooked evenly. Not sure if it was the new mat or just that it's a recipe I've never made and they come out fine anyway, but I'm going to keep using the silicone mat. I'm really hoping the mat makes it easier to roll out my sugar cookie dough....I have the worst time with it always sticking when trying to roll and get very frustrated and then ask myself why did I make these again?!

Oh Geez - it's a never ending cycle. So, I had $10 Kohl's cash to use from my recent jeans order. So, I just used that towards the Christmas dinner plates. Plus I had an email with a 40% off coupon code. That's a good code! Plus they were offering an additional $10 off a home purchase of $50. I guess the plates qualified for that due to their original price being more than $50. But, just the plates wasn't enough for free shipping. Shipping is $8.95, but if I spent $19 more I'd get free shipping. I had to find something that was $19 after the 40% off. I finally figured out what I want. I have been wanting a new comforter or duvet for one of the guest bedrooms for a long time, since we got the bed back in 2017 LOL. The comforter was something I picked up at Kohl's even before we moved from our original home. I knew we'd be adding a queen sized bed for guest room and this was cheap and seemed kinda neutral. I've never loved it and am just tired of it. I decided to go with a navy blue duvet cover (I'll just put the current comforter inside it). I think the dark blue will go good with the burnt orange accent color I have in this bedroom. I was trying to decide if navy blue would be ok and then realized that the throw blanket (a cheap gift from some company LOL) I have folded up on the chair next to my desk, that the cat sleeps on, is navy. So, I unfolded it and took it to that bedroom and laid it down and I think it will look very nice in there, with a navy duvet. It was regular $110, on clearance/sale for $44, plus 40% off, so $26. 

After I placed the order, I just got another email with more Kohl's cash never ends, LOL.

Last night I started watching the tv show "Good Witch" on Netflix. Anyone watched that show? I see it's like 7 seasons - is it worth watching?

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Bring on the weekend

Yesterday mid morning my phone rings and I see it's the m/c. That's never good when they call, is it? Well, nothing too serious, but mom took a little fall. I guess she was sitting on the edge of her bed, putting her shoes on and she fell down onto the floor. Didn't appear to be hurt, but of course, they would keep an eye on her. No more calls after that and no news is good news with m/c.

Then right after that our landline rings and it's Mrs. Neighbor. This was too funny. She says we just wanted to make sure everything is ok with you always have your Christmas lights on in your house all night and they weren't on last night. We were worried something was wrong! I said oh! No, I just decided maybe it would be smarter to start turning them all off at night and maybe make the lights last longer, because I have no idea how I'm going to re-light a 12 foot tree when all the lights end up not working someday! LOL. We had a good laugh. They can see the lights from their side windows into our side windows. I did turn them off again last night when I went to bed, but turned them back on right when I got up at 7 this morning.

I have a new reindeer. I had been eyeing this since last Christmas, but didn't buy it then. I decided to order it when I came across it in my bookmarks of things for the house and still loved it. It arrived with the tail broken off, but dh used some wood glue and clamps and pretty much good as new again. It's made of mango wood. I wish there were another one in a different size/pose to go with it.

The pool table light arrived yesterday. Boy that was fast once it got to NY (it was only in customs one day). So, it was coming USPS. I get a notification that a package was attempted delivery, required a signature, but no one was available, so a note was left inside our mailbox. What? We are right here! DH goes to the mailbox a few minutes later and sure enough. Hey mailman! How about you drive 2 houses down our street and see if we are home to sign for it?! Geez! We knew the mail carrier had dropped it off very recently and then about half hour or so later passes our street heading back after he delivers to all the houses down a few more miles. DH went out there and waited at our street corner/mailboxes for him to drive by again, LOL. Finally he did and dh waved him down and said he wanted our package, so we didn't have to drive 20 miles RT to get it at the post office. Good on dh. He got it. 

It took him awhile to get it installed. Mostly I think it was just him - he's never been very handy with electrical stuff. I'll take a picture of it when we get the pool table installed, which I did not hear back about yesterday. The chain it hangs on is a bit "wimpy". We may decide to get a bigger chain. We took the light that had been installed in the center of the room and put it in place of the "boob" light that was over where the table is. It's a little fancier than the plain boob light.

I'm going to try the new cookie recipe today. I took some butter out of the fridge this morning to start softening. I also see it looks like I will have a banana or two to make some banana bread tomorrow and I'm definitely going to be adding applesauce to it again.

I think I finally found some new Christmas dinner plates I like. I've been wanting some for a couple years, but either not finding something I love, or the price is too high. In a round about way I found a set. I had earned $10 JC Penney rewards. I was looking for something to maybe purchase (though not likely, since need to spend $49 for free shipping) and came across the plates. Reg. $120 for $84. Still pretty pricey but $10 off plus 10% off...then I decided to google the plate set and see if it cheaper somewhere else. Ya, just about everywhere else, LOL. Amazon at $45. Kohl's was at $70 AND I have $10 Kohl's cash, a 40% coupon code I got in an email and another $10 off, so a total of $40 off, bringing them down to $30 for the set. Now I need to decide if I want to go ahead and pay the $8.95 shipping, bringing the total to $$38.94, or spend another $19.01 on something to add to the cart and get free shipping. I'll let it sit for awhile today, while I decide. These are the plates

I want something that looks "rustic" and Christmas, but not really finding anything. I really don't know what that would look like, I'd just know it when I see it, LOL. DD wants my old set of 4 plates. I really wanted a set of 6, but that is hard to find, it's usually 4. When we had dd, sil, and my mom here, I needed 5 plates for Christmas dinner. Now I really only need 4, and not likely we'll ever have more than 4 again now....unless we ever get a grandkid....

Friday, December 8, 2023

All better

While my mom's phone was ringing again yesterday, I could never get a hold of her. Just before 4:30 I called m/c to ask how she's doing and they said she's doing great and all over Covid now. "She's sitting right here, do you want to talk to her?" Yes, thank you! So we chatted a couple minutes. She sounded good and no congestion. Thank God. I'm planning to go in and see again, soon.

I got the online order placed for the pool table. A rep from the company called me shortly after to let me know, due to my address, I'm considered "remote" (as I figured) and the closest authorized installer they have is 150 miles away, so it will cost more due to that. I said I figured it would and he said he has a call into the installer to find out how much more and should be able to let me know tomorrow. I said I was hoping you might have in installer in the city 45 miles from me, but he said they don't. He said all the installer they use have to get certified with them, due to the pool table quality being a 3 slate table. He said he maybe could find someone in our nearby city to get certified with them, but it would take like a month extra time. I said don't worry about it - even someone from there will want to charge extra to drive to where we are. Hopefully it won't be too outrageous of an extra charge.

We have some friends nearby that had been renting a house, but bought some property not too far from where they were living and had a brand new mfg home put on it and got moved in a few months ago. Dh had told him we'd stop by sometime to see their new place and with Covid and then Thanksgiving, we just haven't done it. We decided we should do this and also would be nice if we brought a little housewarming gift. So, I just ordered a cute snow globe that is personalized with their family name on it. It says on the base "There's snow place like home!" and their family name.

My passport arrived in the mail yesterday. That was pretty quick. I think I submitted it at the post office on Halloween. Now I just need my birth certificate back. I won't likely need it on our cruise, but better safe than sorry and if they gov't ever actually implements the REAL ID to fly domestically, I'll have my passport to use and won't have to get it on my drivers license.

I'm glad it's Friday, this week didn't seem to go by as fast as most of the weeks do.  I think I'm going to try this cookie recipe dd found. It's very similar ingredients to my Christmas sugar cookies, but less work, LOL.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

No title Thursday

I was able to find my mom's new social security amount for 2024. She gets a whopping $62 more a month. But she will also be spending $97 a month less for her health insurance plan. I'm sure come her one year anniversary in m/c (February), they will up her rent, by at least that $159 more a month she'll have. I need to mail in the monetary gift check for the holiday employee gift fund, so now I need to decide how much....I have no idea LOL. Last year she had her main caregiver and her assistant and I think I gave the main lady $100 and the other lady $50, but this is a little different, since there is a lot of staff where she lives and obviously I can't do that much for each person (nor would I even know how many they have, of course). I will probably just send $150, same total as last year. No clue how much all the staff ends up getting in total.  It sounds like they take all the donations and then split it up between each employee, throughout the whole facility. There's a lot of residents there for the independent and assisted living parts and I'm sure a lot of them contribute to the gratuity fund.

The IT guy thought he had fixed my issue, but we needed to finish letting all the files sync, but it might take an hour or so. We got off the phone. About 15 minutes after I was done working, he called me back to say he'd been watching the sync process from the back end and it was still not working right. So, worked on my computer a little more and then thought he fixed it, but I had to just leave the process to run and I will see this morning if it worked or not. I guess many people are having issues with this new program, not just me, but my issue isn't their issue. Otherwise one fix would fix everyone, and it's not.

I thought I had my to-do list all crossed off yesterday. That lasted about a half hour, and then I had time to think on it and added 5 more to-do's. LOL. I'm hoping to get 3 of these done today.

So, I just logged into work and still having problems with accessing all the files. Then I get an email about a past due freight invoice from one of our mfg's. - dated back in 2019! Fortunately I save all emails and found the emails where I have tried to resolve this with them (last time back in 2022) when in a 2020 email they told us we didn't owe it and their accounting dept was removing it from our account. Especially because it's like $5,000!

I am ready to order the pool table. I was on the mfg website (they don't sell directly) but was wondering if there might be a dealer in our area so I requested info and they replied back that there aren't any dealers in our area, it would have to be ordered from an online company and they recommended one of the ones they deal wtih. This was the company I was planning to order from (best pricing), so I was glad that was their recommendation.  This morning I called the company to order it from to clarify how delivery and installation works. The info on their website made it sound like it would get curbside delivered here and then an installer they hired would come and set it up. Well, we don't want curbside delivery of a big pool table! We'd want it delivered upstairs to the bonus room. She said, no, that the pool table would be delivered directly to the installer and they would bring it out and set it up. Ok. good! My guess is though, there is going to end up being an additional installation charge added on, because we are "rural". No one in business from the city wants to come out here for any services, without an extra surcharge. We are used to it by now. 

Dh got his old rifle dropped off for sprucing up yesterday and he washed the truck when he got back, since the weather was so warm. He also did a modification to our car. Something he ordered to take off the rear windshield wiper (it's a guy thing, I guess, haha) and now after seeing the picture dh sent to our group chat, dd wants sil to do that to her car.

Ok, off to place my pool table order. I hope it doesn't take too long to get here. I'm still can't get through to my mom, so I'm calling nurses desk to check on her and also ask if they can plug her phone in again.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Not off to a good start today

I just logged into my work desktop and now my files issue got made worse. Now every thing I had saved to my desktop for quick access is gone, as well as anything I had saved to my documents folder. Just wonderful.........GRRRR. Whatever this new file storing and sharing system is, it sucks. I'm going to be furious if all these files I use/need on a regular basis are lost.

Since I ended up posting so late yesterday, there isn't much to update first thing this morning. That pool table light I ordered (from an Etsy seller in Bulgaria) had tracking...sort of. Tracking that last shows the Bulgarian post office processed it on 11/23 and that's the last it would show. I did an online search with the tracking number and it found it in USPS as just yesterday received at the customs center in NY. I was wondering how long it takes through there, but checked again this morning and now it has moved onto the USPS distribution center in NY. So, it should be making it's way across the states pretty soon. I guess it's safe to order the pool table now, as that will likely take a few weeks to arrive/schedule installation.

DH has been talking on the phone quite a bit with his friend that will have to have his prostate removed next month. He did find out the cancer has not spread, so he was of course very relieved about that. A friend cannot call dh and have it be a short call. His one friend (a former employee who moved to CA years ago) calls about 2x a year and they will talk for like 7 hours into the middle of the night. He always calls on Christmas Eve to wish Merry Christmas. I happened to answer the phone and he wished us a Merry Christmas and I said do you want to chat with dh? "NOOO NOOO NOOO! We'll never get off the phone and I have family over too!LOL". We got a good laugh over that. Then the evening before last dh's other friend (the one with prostate cancer) called him up around 9pm (10p our time) and when dh answered friend said "30 Minutes! That's all we can talk. I gotta get up and go to work in the morning". haha. It ended up being at least a couple of hours or more.  DH did manage to call our old "good neighbor" up on  Christmas eve, as he always does, and only talked for about a half hour. 

Today was the last day to use one of my Kohl's cash. The jeans I wanted still were not on sale again, but I found out I had a 30% off code if I put it on my Kohl's card, so with the $25 Kohls cash and the 30% off I got 3 pair of jeans for $14.38 each. I should be set for jeans now for a few years. Plus I earned another dang $10 Kohl's cash, LOL, and 2% cash back with Rakuten. 

I think dh is going to go take his old rifle to drop off with that guy that restores guns. He lives right in town and since the guy said it takes him awhile, he might as well get it left there and in the queue to be worked on. 

Another warm day today and tomorrow and then temps are back down to normal 20's and 30's. I guess I managed to find enough to chat about this morning! Now waiting for our IT guy to get back to me.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Grocery gettin' day

It's going to be a warm one today - 50 degrees. It was 40 when I got up. Not our typical December temps. I got my Walmart grocery order placed last night and going to take a long lunch break (plus I logged into work a half hour early this morning) and go pick up. DH gets to try out his handy dandy new collapsible bins for the grocery bags. I'll be stocked up again. I'm hoping we won't need to go again until I'm off the week after Christmas.  Then I'll have any time available to go and not have to work around job and weekend time.

This week already feels like it should be farther along than Tuesday, for some reason. My work files issue still isn't fixed. The IT guy spent over an hour working on it, so I couldn't do any work while he was trying to figure that out. So, I sat at my desk (with my phone on speaker in case he needed to tell me something) and watched a show on my ipad with my earbud in one ear. I have no idea how the "talk" my boss said she was having with the assistant, but it obviously didn't result in firing him. Again, I had to go through (per her request) yesterday to see what work he got done. Not much. He did about 30 minutes of work for 2 hours. I'm not really understanding why she even bothers to keep asking me anymore....

I think I'll wait and finish this post after I get back from picking up groceries----

Ok, I didn't get time to finish this post this morning before I started work. Then it was time to leave for our groceries. Just before we left I tried to call my mom again...........and now her phone is unplugged....again....I give up.

A nice warm, dry day for a drive. I got the email that Walmart was out of one thing I ordered. We had to stop at the other grocery store anyway for the hamburger patties, so I got the out of stock item there. And they were out of the hamburger patties, again. I just decided to try the higher fat ones, in the same brand. I think our new crates to put the grocery bags in worked well. DH was able to carry the whole crate into the kitchen, rather than trying to hold onto a bunch of bags. We then stopped to fill up with gas and got back home.  We were gone a little over 2 hours. Pull in our driveway to neighbors dog running around our yard. Because you know, apparently asking them nicely several times not to not let their dog run loose (and crap in our yard, of course) is too much to ask.

I missed a call from our IT guy while I was out for the lunch break, so I called him when I got back to my desk. Then he was on my computer for about a half hour, still trying to fix the issue. This is now been passed onto their top IT guy, and he's still working on it. Assistant didn't work his scheduled 2 hours today, nor did he let us know he wasn't working. Why should he? It's not like he's going to get fired or anything 😆

Then I got all the groceries put away, except I still need to put the bread out in the freezer. I see that 3 of the loaves I bought last trip are half smushed, because dh tried to think he knows best and rearranged the freezer and put other things on top of the not yet frozen bread. So, once I need those loaves, I'm sure I won't be able to use many of the slices for his sandwiches. Guess the chickens get a treat. Speaking of the chickens, these girls have apparently gone on strike and I haven't seen an egg for like 2 weeks now.

I feel like I really need a nap now. I think dinner tonight will be chicken burgers. I bought some more of those brioche buns we had when dd was here. 

I have tried 3 emails to find out more about my mom's place's gift giving deal for the employees. I had read some little blurb in the monthly meeting (for the whole place, not just m/c) that they are still doing where the residents can contribute to a Christmas fund that will then be distributed to all the employees. This was like the end of October or so. Last week I sent an email to the m/c cooridinator asking about it and how I go about doing that? She forwarded the email to the main administrator and she replied the next day that said yes, they can take checks made out to the facility. I then replied is there someone's attention or dept I should send it to? No reply. This was last week. So I tried again today and no reply. How hard is it to answer the question? Ya want some more Christmas bonus money or not?!

I bought some more eggnog. It was good to have my eggnog fix again. I haven't had any since Thanksgiving.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Easing into Monday

I had to log into work first thing this morning when I sat down at my desk, just to see if the assistant worked over the weekend (like he said he was) and if he actually did any work. He did not clock in to work, so at least he didn't try to say he worked again, when he didn't. 

Yesterday, while dh was out plowing a bit of snow, I got the vacuuming done. Then I took a nap to rest my back. The rest of the day I watched a couple of movies, one new, one old.

I see my passport in now in the approved status, so I should be getting it soon. 

December is always such a busy month, especially with all the gift ordering, that I start to forget what I've done and haven't. My to-do list in a steno notepad has been working really well to help remind me of everything I need to do. This morning I got my prescription refilled online and that crossed off my list.

The snowfall is done and the next few days are supposed to be in the mid to upper 40's and mid 50's tomorrow, so what we have should melt off. According to my weather info that somehow now shows up on my computer's task bar, when I open it says tomorrow will a record high of 54.  Hopefully now we can go pick up groceries, LOL. I've never seen my fridge so empty. My cart is ready to check out and I've checked it against my list twice. 

I was having a vivid dream when I woke up this morning. Dh and I had decided to move to a different small town (I'm not sure where) but we were there looking at a place to live and I was checking into jobs. The new house was super cheap and there were several job opportunities but they paid half of what I was making (or less). One of my current coworkers (though not in the dream) lived in this town and was telling me about a job. Then I thought, why am I worried about less pay? We made enough on the sale of our house to pay cash for a house in this town and have money left over. Then met up with dh (who was looking around the town) and said I don't know why I'm so worried about the less pay and remind me again why I just can't keep the remote job I already have at good pay? LOL. Then I woke up.

I just tried my mom again this morning and FINALLY got to talk to her, so they must have figured out what was going on with her phone, after I left the voicemail yesterday. She said she had her breakfast sitting in front of her, so they are still having her stay in her room. She sounded a bit congested, but otherwise seemed good. I just said "ok, well, I'll let you eat your breakfast and call you another time". I'll try her again this afternoon.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

A relaxing Saturday

I got an email that my mom's application for medicare advantage plan I signed her up for is in process. So starting in January she will be saving almost $100 a month in premiums. At least when I get old and it's too hard to figure it all out myself, I'll have dd to do like I am doing for my mom. 

Yesterday I got my "to-do's" done. A couple loads of laundry done, one being the sheets off the guest bed and then I got the Christmas duvet put on it.  I cleaned out the fridge. Dishwasher loaded and ran and put away while dinner was baking. Dinner was some ham/turkey/cheese sliders. The day before I had pulled out the Hawaiian rolls from the freezer. I had wrapped over the plastic bag it comes in with foil. These rolls were as fresh as the day I bought them after thawing. Plus, I love these Walmart bakery Hawaiian rolls so much better than the prepackaged one's from the bread aisle. They are so fresh and also cheaper.

We got a couple inches of snow yesterday and a little bit more last night. Amos thought he wanted outside first thing this morning. He wanted back in 5 minutes later. He's in my lap right now as I talk.....using his paw to reach my pens next to my keyboard and knock them on the floor. Every day. haha.

After dinner I watched the Hallmark Christmas movie dd recommended and enjoyed that. Since I had recorded it, I was able to fast forward through the commercials.

I'm going to have to ask the staff at my mom's place to check her phone again. It's ring,s but she never answers, so I guess she stuffed it in the drawer again? I will call later this morning, to ask. Her Covid has been very mild, so that's a relief.  

I was awake at 6am and finally decided to just get up at 6:30. Today, I'm going to try to do the rest of my Christmas shopping online. I just have a couple more things for dd and the delivery driver's gifts. I think I'm going to go with the Frango's chocolate mints again. Who doesn't like those? LOL. I just got online with Macy's. Rakuten cash back is 10% today and Macy's is 30% off. More savings. Did you know they have a Frango Chocolate Mint cheesecake?! $78 - haha. I'll just take their word for it that it's as delicious as it looks. Ok, boxes of Frango's ordered. 

I just tried to sign into Rakuten to see what my cash back total is and cannot get signed in. I'm so tired of computer and website issues. It keeps asking me to do the captcha verification, it accepts that and then still says something is wrong. Keep trying. Then try forgot password and go through the captcha again and again, then it just keeps spinning trying to sign on. It did this to me other other day and I gave up quickly. OMG, I finally get to where I can submit reset password and it does nothing, just sits on that screen. I give up. So, I tried a different browser and it opened right up. I have $12, plus I will earn the $9 from this Macy's purchase. I think I am about done with Firefox as my browser. Getting dh off of it solved his issues and I keep having stupid stuff like this happen and another browser works fine.

I just went downstairs to make dh's egg sandwich and the cat wanted out again. Yep, still snowy, buddy. 

I have like $25 in Kohl's cash I need to use up in a few days. I wanted to get the jeans, but so far, since my cash rewards has been available to use, they have put the jeans back on at full price. Just my luck.  

Dh's passport renewal came in the mail yesterday. Now just waiting for mine. I put a passport holder on my wish list dd wanted for me, so if I don't get one for either Christmas or my birthday in January, I'll need to get one for it. 

I think I'll vacuum downstairs today. I'm never too excited about it - it always hurts my back for awhile, but gotta be done.