Monday, September 15, 2014

One more day and then I am off work for a whole week! I ready for some time off.........but not ready for the end of the week....saying goodbye to DD :(

I got my weekend projects completed.  The front door step looks much better not all torn up and the dark brown looks much better with our tan/brown/cream house colors. It was a bit more challenging to install squares of carpet, rather than the whole one piece I have always done in the past. But, when the one area starts getting a hole from our shoes stepping on the edge, in a few years I'll just be able to replace that square, so should save me time in the long run.

I did clean that glass screen door! it's just the reflection and a reflection of the patterned door mat inside my door :-)  But I need a new welcome mat. And as an accidental benefit of this carpet, I got rid of one of my biggest pet peeves! It's a bit thicker than the old carpet so now the bottom of the screen door rubs on the carpet a bit.....the screen door can slam no more! LOL

The staining of the back french door cover is done. Now we just need to figure out what type of roofing we want to put on it. Some type of corrugated polycarbonate or steel panels. Should work great to keep the rain off the doors and help keep the sun out of that room in the summer.

Now DH has another project in mind. A small cedar fenced off area (just to the right of this picture) that will kind of separate our "top yard" from the rest below the block wall and pretty much block any view we would have of our junkyard neighbor and he of us. Will make grilling out in the back much nicer next year without having to stand there and look at all his crap. It's basically a 5' cedar fence with lattice top, almost as long as our house. I think he said we'd need 4 or 5 of the 8' panels and the posts. The panels are $65, so should be able to do this project for about $400 or less. Might be a good late Fall project.  After I pay for the new tires I need on my car!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Free stuff

DD signed up for the Amazon Student Prime free trial, which is for 6 months of free 2 day shipping. I had read somewhere on the internet that the free trial doesn't include Amazon Prime Videos, but apparently it does, because I was able to load a tv show to my computer screen to watch, at no charge. Cool beans. Now we can add this streaming option to our blu-ray dvd player, along with our Netflix subscription.  I'll split the cost of the Student Prime with her ($49, I think) in 6 months, when the free trial is over.  Yay, now I can finally check out Downton Abbey starting with Season 1 and see what it's all about. 

And I just got a free $25 Amazon gift card through work! More cool beans. I didn't even have to do anything, other than listen in on this webinar with one of the manufacturer's we rep and they emailed everyone a $25 gift card.

I was saving up my Swagbucks to cash in closer to Christmas. I didn't realize you can only cash in for 2 Amazon gift cards per day and 5 per month, so I cashed in what I could for the $5 cards, since they are less "bucks" than the higher value cards. Then this week they had on sale for 450 swagbucks $5 Walmart gift cards, so I have requested 2 of those. Now I am back down to 300 swagbucks, but I have been averaging earning at least 50 per day and I have 300 pending from a couple of online purchases.  I guess if I still want to "save up" the points I could just buy higher valued gift cards, rather than small $5 increments.  I was able to use $20 of the Amazon gift card codes towards the mattress topper I ordered for DD's dorm bed.

I was a bit miffed that a discounted giftcard I ordered last Saturday for Petco still has not arrived. It says it shipped last Monday and only a few states distance mailing, so should have been here in 6 days, ya think? Pup will be out of his food probably by Monday morning. So, this afternoon I went to the nearby Petsmart. I found a $5 off natural dog food coupon online (including Blue Buffalo, the brand we use), plus it was $5 off a bag at the store, so I at least I pretty much saved the same % as I would have with my Petco giftcard. Just still miffed that now I am out double the money for 2 bags instead of one. I have sent an email into the gifcard company to see what is up. I have never ordered from this one before, so now getting a bit nervous.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's Friday!

Made it through the work week. Our weather has still been so nice and warm and no rain in sight for another week, it appears. Looking like good weather while I am off work for a week, starting next Tuesday. Looking forward to a week off, that's for sure. I haven't taken anything more than a couple of days since last Christmas/New Year's and I have plenty of vacation days available.

I want to start doing my weekly grocery shopping on Saturday mornings, again. When DD started working most Saturday mornings, I switched to Friday afternoons, because she likes to go with me. But.....she'll be gone in a week (eek!) and early Saturday mornings are so much less crowded and makes the shopping excursion much more relaxing for me. I feel like I can better think and pay attention to my coupons and good deals when it's not so crowded.

Today DD is helping DH clean out the gutters on our house, garage and shed, so one more home maintenance project out of the way. I will be staining the new back porch add on, this weekend too. The indoor/outdoor carpet tiles I ordered in dark brown, came too, so that project is on my list.  Here is the old carpeted "step" that is tearing up.  Not very inviting at the front door!

Those 2 projects should keep me more than busy enough this weekend, I'd say.

DD has 2 more workshifts this weekend and then she is done with work! She is so excited to be done and more than excited to get college started. I'd say she's done well in her 2 years of working at the restaurant.  She has about $12,000 in the bank! Plus one more paycheck to get before she leaves. She doesn't plan on working while at school, at least for the first quarter. She's on a wait list to add an accounting class to her schedule, which would put her at 4 classes for the quarter and should be totally do-able (most take 3 classes) since she's not working. She's currently 2nd on the wait list, so sounds like she'll probably get into it.

Yesterday was a great day at work. I was going through my commission reports and noticed a nice big commission payment we received, but the order was not in our system. Sometimes we get commissions on orders we didn't place, because it is ordered by a rep in another territory, but for a customer that is located in our territory. When that happens we usually get 50% of the commission, since it's still in our territory. This was a huge order of almost $1 million dollars! Our bonus incentive program is based on sales recorded in our system, not the actually commission dollars received on it. This sale was never recorded in our system, but it sure is now. That $1 million added to our YTD sales is a very nice boost to getting us closer to our annual goal and thereby getting a bonus this year!  Yay me!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Danish, anyone?

Warning: if you are not interested in genealogy, or just just bored with me in general....feel free to move on to your next blog on the reading list :)

My sweet, loving Grandpa (my mom's dad) was the son of a Danish immigrant. He came to America and kind of late in life, married an American woman who had already been previously married and had children. They had my grandpa (and 2 other sons) when my great-grandfather was 44 years old. Sometime before WWII, great-grandpa Peter went back to Denmark and was never heard from again.

From my mom's records, I had his full name and date of birth. That's the only info I had, besides "Denmark" and that my grandpa was born and lived in North Dakota as a child. I found him listed in the 1920 and 1930 census's.  The only other thing that came up for someone with his name and age on was a passenger list in 1909, listing a Peter Andersen, coming from Copenhagen, Denmark on his way to Janesville, Minnesota.  Could be him. The age is right, and Minnesota is near N. Dakota, so that could have been his starting point.

Apparently Danish records are very hard to research - first it's in Danish and mostly written in cursive, so again hard to read, and anything back to the 1800's and before the names get really tricky, where they didn't use the same surname for families. For example, Peter Andersen's father's first name might have been Anders and therefore Peter might have been given the name Peter Andersen.

So, just for kicks I googled "finding Danish ancestors" and came up with a couple databases I could search (in English) so I entered in his name, Peter Jorgensen Andersen and date of birth, Feb 22, 1873. One person came up: a Peder Jørgensen Andersen, listed in 2 Danish census records for 1880 and 1890 and listing his age at those times, he could be a match. And sure, Peder is probably the Danish version of his name, changed to Peter on English speaking documents (passenger list and US Census's). The 1880 Denmark census listed him as 7 years old and listed his other family members, father (Niels Veng Andersen), mother, younger sister (Sofie Katrine - love that name!) and brother, all living in the Parish of Adslev. The 1890 census listed him also living there, but as a border in another household at age 17, occupation servant. Could be him.....and no other's were coming up with same name/age.

Could be him, might not be him. How could I know? Then I found a search where I could look at the pages of the churchbook from that parish during that time period. Since I had his exact date of birth, I might be able to find him. And I did! All written in Danish (I had to use an online translator to translate some of the words from that and the census's) but I could certainly read his name and date of birth! That meant the parents listed on the 1880 census were the right people for my great-great grandparents. They were also listed as the parents on the churchbook birth and baptism record.

So, now I knew my great-great grandfather was named Niels Veng Andersen. I knew his approx year of birth from the census. I found the churchbook from the same parish and looked through the pages and found the page with his birth year and found him listed in 1846 and baptised same year. From that I cannot read his parents name. The writing is too hard to read and I can't make out the Danish names. The only census I found him listed on had him in a household (as a 15 year old), with what appears to be his mother and a stepfather and the stepfather's mother. Trying to decipher the Danish words on the 1860 census a 28 year old was the husband/head of hous. Niels mother, listed as age 48. It lists those 2 as "married" next to their names. 20 year age difference? Plus the 28 year old's head of house's widowed mother living with them. So, from that I could not find his father and am probably at a stand still. I will probably try to see if I can find something on my great-grandfather Peder's death after the late 1930's. But, I'm still tickled pink to have found what I did (and on my own!) and since I don't speak/read Danish I'm probably done with that branch of the family tree. According to the Danish records website it's unlikely to get back farther than 200-250 years. Unless you were nobility, it wasn't recorded much prior to that, plus the surnames are all different one one generation to next.  In the 2nd half of the 1800's the Denmark population was at about 2.5 million. During the 2nd half of the century 10% of the population emigrated out of Denmark, due to poverty and looking for a better life.

I enjoyed googling the parish on a map and seeing some arial and street views of the area. So pretty and green.  My half sister (on dad's side) is going to see what she can find/remember on our grandmother's maiden name and see if I can find anything more on that family branch.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More leaks!


Saturday morning, as we were decluttering and putting DS's bedroom back together (it looks really nice now, by the way) DH looks up and sees a stain in the ceiling! We have a leak in the roof, now. Apparently, there is a vent type pole coming out of the roof from the wall between his room and the bathroom. Stain was most likely painted over on the bath side in our recent remodel (and guy didn't say anything to us, of course). DH thinks he can fix it with some roof sealant around the pipe coming out. Another trip to Home Depot and $30 spent.

Then Sunday morning, just before DD was leaving for work (DH still asleep) I was in her bathroom just to double check the pipes DH fixed to make sure everything was still sealed and no leaks. I feel a bit of water on the floor behind her toilet. But, it's kind of an oily feeling water. What the heck?! Then I feel her toilet connections and feel the same thing. I assumed it was leaking now (also new toilet and connections from the remodel) but why is the water oily? I was not thrilled about having to tell DH this news when he awoke. It took every ounce of energy he had and then some on Friday to take care of the first leak and also preempt a leak in our master bath, due to that plumbing being done the same way. He was not ready to deal with another crisis.

I mentioned to DD about the oily water. She went back in her bath to finish getting ready. She figured it out! It wasn't the plumbing leaking. It was a bottle of our dogs anti-biotic tooth rinse that was up in the cupboard above the toilet. It was leaking! an oily type water! She threw it out and cleaned it all up. Whew - crisis averted!

I want no more leaky situations around here!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Water this and Water that

It's been an all "Water" type of day.  Got up early and got ready (DH too) because a guy from the county was coming out first thing to test our water pressure. But even before he came I was in DD's bathroom and noticed water on the floor in the corner next to the tub. Crap! We have a leak. We assumed it was coming from the tub faucet/behind the wall and we didn't see any water leaking under the sink. In order to get to the insides of the tub faucet you have to access it through a cut out panel from DS's bedroom....behind his big heavy desk that, since he hasn't been here for a year, has been piled with all his big trophies and misc computer crapola. I had to move it ALL out so we could move the desk from the wall. Ugh.

DH unscrews the panel and nope, nothing. No water seen. Now what?  Then the guy from the county health dept shows up. Nice young guy, just learning his job and all it entails (I got that from the phone conversation I had with him last week). He attaches his little pressure gauge thingy to one of our outside faucets and it registers nothing. Well, there should be "something" - we do have some water coming out (but not much, as usual). So he grabs another gauge to screw on and it does the same thing. Then he tries 2 of our other outside faucets. Barely registers 5lbs of pressure! He says he'll go back, tell his boss and get her advice from there, but he does plan to come back on Monday, with a different gauge, because he just wants to make sure his gauge was working. Well, at least we are headed in the right direction with this water issue.  I don't even think I have blogged about it the past week or two - same old same old - annoying beyond belief 82 year old water well owner who needs to replace the pump, but doesn't have $3000 to do it. We even offered to give our 1/9th share of the cost to fix it. She still has no money.

So, I reported her to the county week before last. The guy called me up last week. There is not a lot they apparently have authority to do, other than she has to have it tested annually and (new info) she does have to supply us with at least 30 pounds of water pressure. I told this to our good neighbor last weekend and he said he had a water pressure gauge, so he tried it out on his faucet and it only read 22#.

It sounds like (once this guy double checks on Monday that we really do not have much pressure) the county will than be sending her a letter telling her she is required to fix the well to provide at least 30# of water pressure.

Once he left DH had time to figure out that our bathroom leak was coming from the sink faucet plumbing and running down the wall/floor . Half-assed job done by our remodel guy, 2 trips to the hardware store later and DH basically redid the plumbing. He looked at our two sinks in our master bath - one was done correctly and one not - what the heck?!

Now it's all fixed and hopefully soon we'll have the county on the well owner and get that fixed. I have a practically brand new dishwasher and my dishes don't get clean because we don't have enough water pressure so the thing cleans like it should!

I was supposed to be working from home today. Emailed my boss that I'd be getting a late start to deal with the leak and then at 1pm emailed her back that I'm just writing today off as a vacation day. I hardly got anything done other then a few emails read/answered in between helping and running to the hardware store.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I've become a Sluggy wanna-be!

I have dipped my toes into! Woooo..........let me tell you, it's quickly addicting! I am a total NEWB, just started earlier today. I signed up for the 2 week free trial.  For some reason I thought the free trial included international records, but no, just the U.S. My initial "interest" is in my biological father's side of the family, specifically that of his father and mother, who immigrated from Scotland when they were wee bairns.

Well, of course I didn't get too far, since I couldn't access any records from Scotland (yet.......Ha!). I was too impatient to try and read all the tutorials on learning to search and navigate and just decided to start entering info and see how far I got with them. I don't know too much info, because my parents divorced when I was 1 year old. I knew my grandparents names, my grandmas year of death and what was probably a derivative of my great-grandma's first name. I didn't find out a whole lot more. I did get my grandparents birth and death dates, but can't find anything on their marriage date, which I had hoped would lead me to my grandmother's maiden name and more family info. I did also find out my great-grandmother's "actual" first name. My mom had known it as "Anna" but the first record I found showed it as "Anniebelle", another as "Annie B." and yet another as "Annabelle". Hmmm.  Dead end on getting to Scotland at that point!

So, I put in my mom's parents names, birth dates and death dates. Found all that, but again, no marriage records. I did know my grandma's parents names and WOW! It has taken off from there!! I am currently up to my 10x great grandparents - all the way back to born in 1577 Comptom, Devon, England. All this thanks to other people who have already created family trees with these relatives! So cool!.

I still have so much to learn.  Like I just got more info on the 10x great grandfather - the other person's tree even had a picture of him! But, even though I linked the info the person had the picture did not transfer to my tree and now I don't know how to get back to that person's info that came in the "hint" leaf :(.  Just before that all the ancestors were all in Ipswich, Massachusetts from the 1600's on. I just clicked on my 11x great grandfather info and other member trees have info and pics. I have to figure out how to save those pictures, that's for sure.

I guess the next thing will be to pay so I can try and get the Scotland side of my family info. I'll probably just pay for one month, if possible, instead of a year so I can first see how far I can get.  Then I'll probably end up picking out some interesting ancestors and see what more I can find out about them.