Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mid week life

Today's agenda (after working from home all day) includes a trip to the motor vehicle licensing office. We are going to transfer the title of DD's car to her name.  She got it when she was 15 and of course at that time, we weren't allowed to title it in her name. Now that she's over 18, it's time to let her be the official owner.  Then a stop at Target to pick up a prescription and a loaf of bread. At 90 degrees outside again today, cooking dinner is not on my list of priorities, so I plan to just make club sandwiches and have some watermelon with it.

More good news on the work front. We had a record sales month for June, along with surpassing our sales goal for mid year. While Friday is our paid holiday, the bosses have generously said we are closing up office at noon tomorrow for the long holiday. Which means I get another day to work remotely from home, since driving in for a few hours is not worth it.

No luck on finding the folder with our home equity loan paperwork. I've looked through all the file cabinets (though I'm pretty sure it was a legal sized folder, so wouldn't be in any of those cabinets). No luck in any of the boxes of paperwork I have either. Frustrating! I really don't know where else to look. I can literally picture myself putting that envelope inside that folder of our original loan docs. There must be a box of papers somewhere that I am missing. I think there might be a couple of boxes out in the garage or shed. I'll have to see if I can even get to those (unlikely). I think at this point I am just going to call the bank back and have them tell me exactly what they show are the repayment terms on this loan. Either way it's all getting paid back - maybe just sooner than I had anticipated.

A yard maintenance company finally showed up at the foreclosed vacant house yesterday and at least got the 2 feet of weeds mowed down. Still nothing on getting the garage side door boarded up. Seriously, it would take someone a half hour.  I have a feeling I know why the bank may be just letting it sit (it's been 2 years now). For probably at least 10 years or more it has been rumored that the county has future plans to punch this street the house sits on (the street only goes to this house and the cross street in front of it) all the way through to the next cross street. I've seen it shown in county planning (like a 10 year plan). I think we've heard this is a tentative plan for as long as we've lived here (25 years). Will it ever happen? who knows, but could be why the bank is just willing to sit on it and wait and see.

DH was outside doing the yard maintenance of spraying for ants. Resident meth-head son was walking by and nodded at DH and then stopped and held out his hand and apologized for the times he he has wigged out on DH. DH got a little scuttlebutt out of him.....apparently his dad (this is the awful renter/drug dealing/drug using family) really wants to move. This neighborhood has gone to shit...(well NO SHIT!  It was a perfectly good neighborhood until you guys moved in 2 years ago!) and they need to get away from it because now his younger brother is involved with it too (we already figured that one out). They kicked the mom out again (so that is good). So, I guess there is a teeny tiny glimmer of hope that maybe they will move out..........but I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The cost of being disorganized

My old ways of dis(non)-organization has come back to annoy me.

I get a call today from the bank that holds our Home Equity Loan. Supposedly I got some information in the mail recently (I did not) letting me know my interest only payment period was up in August and my loan would then convert to the repayment of principal and interest.

Well, this was totally news to me! We took this HELOC out in Jan of 2008. At that time it was a loan that was 5 years interest only and then 5 more years of principal and interest payments. At that time we had no idea DH would get sick and not be able to continue working, nor did we know the economy was about to basically collapse. It was a loan that we had planned using income from his business to repay. In 2010, as we were in the midst of filing for bankruptcy, that bank was bought out by another bank. The month before we were actually filing the bankruptcy papers, I get a letter from this new bank, offering me new terms on our HELOC. From what I recall (and have always had in my mind the past 5 years now) was that the new terms being offered were same interest rate, 10 years (from that date forward) of interest only payments and after that it would convert to a 20 year regular loan with principal and interest payments. I took the deal, signed and sent in the paperwork. DH was no longer working at the extra time to pay off this loan was much needed.

So, that is the loan schedule I have had in my mind the past 5 years now. Imagine my surprise to get this call. I brought up the fact that I had basically refinanced this loan 5 years ago - what about that? She was clueless and kept saying, well that is what we offer now, if you want to try and refinance. What? I told her I would have to dig up my paperwork copies I signed 5 years ago and re-read it all, because 10 years is distinctly what I remember.

And there's the rub.......I was always SOOO unorganized. Papers just in big piles. Nothing filed. I thought I had filed this (it was really only a few pieces of paper) with our bankruptcy papers, but it's not there.  I still have some "piles" of papers - that when I finally got somewhat more organized I just put into some boxes - to be dealt with at a later date (which has never come). Now I really want to find that paperwork from 5 years ago!

This bank has been pretty messed up the past several months. They bought out another local bank and then converted to a whole new computer system. First they sent out past due letters in error. The company I do my side job for also uses this bank and it's been kind of messed up there too. I couldn't print out bank statements online anymore. I inquired and was told the company owner would have to call and give them permission to allow me to have access.  I am a signer on the company account! You'd think I'd have access to statements, not to mention I have had for almost 6 years previous! Then owner calls and I still have no access and he had to call a second time. He wasn't too thrilled with the bank by then.

And just as I was writing that out I had a flashback of me putting that paperwork in the folder with our original loan documents! Ok! I really think that is where it's at.  Now, I just have to figure out which box that paperwork is in. LOL  I can picture it in my mind though - it's a big folder with the bank logo on it - legal size, so it didn't fit in our filing cabinets. It's in one of the boxes of paperwork. I am really dying to figure this out and see whether I am right or the bank is right.  Moral of the story? Be organized to begin with.

Savings and life insurance

Payday today. I feel so rich, haha. With the bonus, regular pay and my side job pay, in addition to what was already in my checking and savings. But, I just paid bills - so not quite so "rich" anymore....

My monthly deposits into my Capital One Savings accounts is easy and going well. I now have $400 in my savings for taxes from my side job, $60 in my savings for our annual water bill, and $90 in my long term pet's care savings. Next month I will be starting another one for my annual life insurance policy payment.  I've also managed to pay down $416 towards my (huge) home equity loan by adding a little extra to the interest only payment each month. I just add my $25 internet reimbursement from work, whatever I earn on my debit card cash back and whatever I come in under budget in gas and groceries.

Yep - I finally got the final paperwork to sign for the life insurance policy on myself. I feel like I got such a grown up task done. I got the paperwork packet in the mail on Saturday. I was kind of scared to open it as my last "quote" had gone up to $48/mo and it was still to change - depending on the results of my medical exam.  The final policy price ended up even lower than I think I was originally quoted! $330 a year. I was so happy and also so proud of myself for finally getting this done. Now I will put away $27 a month to savings to cover the premium next year this time.  Next up is some kind of will - most likely I'll be going with Sluggy's recommendation of a revocable living trust.

DD is taking my mom to a doctor's appointment for a CT scan (or something like that). I don't know what is wrong with her and hopefully this will give her an answer. She keeps saying that when she sits down her stomach and chest area feels tight. Apparently it only happens when she sits. She was supposed to have the test last week, but she had to reschedule it because it was first thing in the morning and she wasn't feeling well. So she made the appointment today for an early afternoon time. Now she called DD and asked her to take her, because she doesn't feel well. I really think she is just stressing herself out over it. She feels well enough to go back and forth to her boyfriends a couple times a week, go to church, the casino, etc.  Honestly, my guess is that her problem is really that she just needs to lose quite a bit of weight. She is very small framed and 5'4" and I think all the weight is making her very uncomfortable (getting near the 200 pound range). If the scan doesn't find anything, then I don't know what the next step is to figuring out her problem.

The wind chimes I put outside our French doors (and near where my desk is on the inside wall) sound so pretty! They just have a beautiful sound and DH loves them too. The sound is still kind of a nice surprise when the wind catches it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bring on the (short) week

Saturday was really such a quiet day. DH spent all of it in bed (when he wasn't in the bathroom!) and since really there was nothing I could do for him I just pretty much had the day to myself. With it being so hot out I had all the blinds shut to try to keep as cool inside as possible. I pretty much sat and watched Game of Thrones most of the day.  I missed out knowing there was a free HBO weekend with our cable service last weekend, so I decided to download the free month trial of HBO Now to my ipad mini, so I could watch Season 5. I finished yesterday (poor Jon Snow!) and now will have to find something else to try watching, while I still have almost a month to enjoy it. I won't be spending $15 a month to keep the subscription. If I really wanted HBO, I think I could add it to my cable for $10 a month.

DD went and did the grocery shopping for me that morning, since I felt one of us should be at home in case DH needed anything. Then she was off with her boyfriend the rest of the weekend. I knew they were having a busy day/night Saturday and wouldn't be getting back to his house until around 2 am......and then they had planned to do a 25 mile bike ride Sunday morning. I was a bit worried about her. Just getting over the flu, then a late night, not much sleep and an early morning bike run and it's like 90 degrees out. Apparently they did sleep in and got a later start, but I was still worried about her as she has never rode a bike 25 miles. They had already signed up and paid for the bike run, so they wanted to do it. But she just texted me that they decided to only do the 12 mile ride and were done and alive:)

The heat wave/drought we are having is sure hard on all my flowers. But, my lilac bushes appear to be loving it
 It sure has grown in the 2 years since I planted it! Here is a picture from before:

Oh, I miss the green grass! I am having to water everything in the morning and evening now. I put my phone in my pocket so see how much I walk around the property during all the watering and tending - three quarters of a mile!

DD and I got out of the house last evening. We went over to Kohl's for some shopping. I had coupons for $15 off $30 purchase, plus earn $10 Kohl's cash if spend $50 (after coupons).  For $67 I got a blouse, a knit top, a t-shirt and a white tank top. After the $15 in coupons it was just over $50, so I also got $10 Kohl's cash for a future purchase.  I told DD I would treat her (from my bonus) to whatever she wanted for around the same amount of money. She got a cute maxi skirt, 2 bras, and some drinking glasses for her apartment next Fall. She thought she was over $65 (before coupons) but prices are always marked wrong on the displays (at least at our Kohl's) so one of the items was $5 less than she thought it would be, so she didn't qualify for the $10 Kohl's cash. I told her to go back in the next day or so and buy something else for $6 or so and take both receipts to customer service, so she could get the $10 - at least I read somewhere that you could do that, as long as it was still in the promotional period.

Then we stopped at Ross, as I was hoping to find jeans. Their selection ladies sized jeans was pathetic. Like 2 pair of size 8. There wasn't anything in junior sizes that I liked or wanted. Then we decided to go get some pie about 5 miles down the road and stop at the other Ross store on our way back. I had better luck there. Found a really soft pair of Calvin Klein jeans for $25. They are so comfortable. DD saw a really cute hamper she liked and it was only $12.99, so I bought that for her too. She bought the pie :)

My boss offered me to work from home today, but I declined! I was so cooped up most of the weekend that I am ready to get out of the house. Besides, I'm listening to a really good audio book and want to get back it it - haha! I'm listening to Inferno by Dan Brown. I have always enjoyed those Robert Langdon stories and movies and I guess this one will be a movie next year.

Enjoy the day!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I was ready for the weekend

Just when I thought we were in the clear of DH getting this nasty flu, he has come down with it during the middle of last night. Being sick like that really affects him and he will most likely be down for the count for several days. I remember when my dad (who had MS) would get a cold or flu, it would really wipe him out.  It doesn't help that the temperature outside is in the 90's. I am so thankful we put in those 2 window a/c units. It really has helped keep the house at a tolerable level. I'm also very glad I am over it, while he is going through it. My fear was he would get it same time as me (exposed to DD same as me) and we'd be sick at the same time.  I guess my flu shot last Fall didn't carry over to whatever this flu bug was.

I had to go into the office yesterday and am glad it was just basically a day of meetings where I didn't have to do much. The first meeting was a communications workshop for 2 hours. Easy and relatively informative and entertaining. I am considered an "amiable/analytical" communicator. No surprise there. My boss was mostly amiable - no surprise there to anyone. The funny part was when the presenter was describing an analytical type - she was using her father as an example - who would plan every little detail of a family vacation down to the smallest detail. She was describing me to a T. LOL. I'm like ok - I'm analytical.

The second was a company meeting to go over our 2nd quarter, hand out bonus checks (yay!) and give us another great perk. Basically we are getting 1 extra day of paid time off per month. 12 days a year!  On a rotating basis (to make sure the office is covered), every other week, get a half day off and work from home that first half of the day, to ease the crappy commute most folks have. It will be on a 3 month trial basis and if it is working for the departments/company it will become a permanent thing. Pretty cool and everyone is pretty excited. It won't affect my commute, since I work from home most of the time anyway, but for those who are in the office 5 days a week, 9 hours a day, it will be great.

DD and I were going to go to an indoor vintage flea market today, but that is out now that I need to hang around home to take care of DH. Guess I'll just get stuff done in the house. It will be too hot out to stay outside much. I do need to go grocery shopping and will get to that next.

Earlier in the week DH and I talked about taking a week or so vacation - just a drive, see some scenery, visit some friends, but in the end he decided he'd rather use the money to get some things fixed/done on his old 1999 pick up (that is still almost like new). We added the running board steps already. He needs some maintenance work done and wants to get the inside of his toolbox sprayed with liner.

I need a few things in the way of clothing. I could really use another pair of jeans, now that I seem to be firmly ensconced in size 8. I only have 2 pair of size 8's and am always uncomfortable when I try and wear the 6's, when the 8's are in the wash. I also need a few new t-shirts just for everyday at home wear. I bought a couple at Kohl's a few months ago but they are too thin and stretchy. I also need a couple of tops for work. Two of the ones I wear on a regular basis are wearing out and looking shabby. One even has a tiny hole in it. I will try Ross first.

Wish me luck for the weekend of being a nurse........

Friday, June 26, 2015

We interupt this regularly scheduled blog....

for a rip roaring case of the stomach flu! UGH! DD got it Monday and I got it 36 hours later. Finally feeling better today, but have to get into the office for 2 meetings going on today. Back to normal soon, I hope.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Just do your job!

One of the issues in our neighborhood, just around the corner from our house, is the vacant/foreclosed house that has been sitting empty for 2 years now. It is trashed inside (according to the police deputies.) The house has an attached garage and there is a side door to get into the garage/house (as well as normal garage doors).  The main front door and a couple of windows have been boarded up.  The side garage door is the access point all the tweekers and squatters use to get into the house. It is found open at least weekly. According to the deputies the inside is full of needles, garbage and human feces. Disgusting.

A few times I have called the police (non emergency line) to report the house has been broken into again and also, since the police patrol our area so often, they watch to see if the door it open and will close it up. I have reported this to the county in January and again in April. It has always made me nervous that there are quite a few kids that have to walk past this house early mornings and afternoons on their way to the bus stop at the end of the main private road into our neighborhood.

I was driving past one day last week and of course the door was open again. The door just needs boarding up. How hard is that?! This time I snapped a picture of the door open and included it in my online complaint/report to the county. The next morning I got a call from a county person, who says the file is still open (from my last complaint in April or so) and someone was working on it in another department and gave me her number, so I could inquire as to the status of the open case.

Wow - was that lady ever a B.I.T.C.H! Seriously, I am like the sweetest person on the phone to people. I told her I got her number from the other county department and was calling to inquire on an open case. She said she has contacted the property management company for the house last April, but hasn't gotten a resolve and the case is still open. So, I just said "ok, well the house is still getting broken into weekly, so I wanted to let you know." Then she starts to tell me there is a sign on the house somewhere with info as who the property management company is and contact info.....I stop her and say I am not getting out of my car and going near that house. It is used by druggies and homeless people on a regular basis. I do not feel safe. Then she start to give me the name and phone number of the contact person at the property management company. I stop her again and ask "well, is that MY job to contact them about this?" She curtly replies "I'll do it, then".

Why the heck would I call them? It's the county's responsibility to get this taken care of and make the property management company/bank that owns this house take care of it. Not to mention they also now stopped taking care of the landscaping. They did have someone regularly mowing it (it's an acre property) and now it's 2 feet high of weeds (which is also another no-no). She really ticked me off with her attitude.  Her department is code enforcement - that's her whole job!

On a semi-related issue - my property taxes went up almost $400 this year, as they upped the value of our home quite a bit. My mortgage is going up $61 a month. Ouch! I'm really tempted to fight this large increase in our property value. With the direct neighbor who's acre and 1/4 is literally filled every piece of junk imaginable and this abandoned disgusting house and it's use, I really do not think my house value has gone up - if anything it should be less. We would really have trouble selling our place for any decent amount of money with the neighbor we have.