Sunday, October 19, 2014

A care package

I put together a cute little "care package" to send to DD at college. I snapped a picture of it and then sealed it up. THEN I realized the picture is all blurry!

Boo!! Sorry for the terrible photo! I took a medium sized flat rate box and using some spray on adhesive taped blue wrapping paper on the insides to make it look a little prettier.  I found some cute owl stick-on's and put them on the inside flaps and on the card envelope.  About a month before she left for college we both started having owls show up in our lives - every day! My grandparents collected owls and owls are also a sign that big changes are coming.  We have liked to think my grandma is trying to say hello :)

In the bottom of the box I put 2 of her magazines that have come in the mail, along with her voting ballot. I even taped a postage stamp to it, so she has a stamp to mail her ballot in with. There is some Ghiradelli chocolates and some Ferrero Roche chocolates and a box of chocolate covered raisins. The owl has a cute "tail" that hangs down and says "Welcome". I thought it would be cute for a Halloween decoration for their dorm window or door.

The card is a funny/cute Hoops and Yoyo "thinking of you" message.  We both love Hoops and Yoyo!

Fall maintenance

It looks like we will need to have our septic tank pumped out. It has been awhile. I think we had it done about 7 years ago, when we refinanced our house. I honestly don't remember how long it's been. But, at least DH remembered the name of the company we used, so I can save time trying to decide which company to call. Seems like it was in the $200-300 range to have done. Thankfully, I have the money for it. I have been keeping an emergency reserve of at least $500 for something unexpected (I currently have $1300) for house our auto repairs that might come up.

It's a beautiful Fall day and I did a bit of fall pruning this morning, though decided to wait on the big fuchsia bush. It still has all the little leaves on it, making it hard to see all the branches that need to be cut at the base. Plus, our yard waste cans are plumb full so I will wait until they are empty and the bush is easier to cut down.  I cut down the 2 rose bushes and also cut down a bit on a diablo ninebark plant in the back yard. We actually made is through this summer without anything dying! The year before was quite a challenge for us.

Here's a funny: We had some corn cob type squirrel food we put out over the summer. Apparently they would drop the corn kernels around as a couple of corn stalks were growing nearby. One even ended up clear on the other side of our property, just over the fence, on neighbor's property. DH pulled out the ones growing on our landscaping, but I noticed the one just over the fence actually has a corn cob growing on it!

DH did another leaf blowing session this morning and is digging up the lid to the septic system right now, so it will be ready for whenever the septic company can get out here. I'll call first thing in the morning and hopefully it will be within the next few days.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Prepping for cold

DH is starting to button up the house in preparation for cold weather. The 2 window air conditioners have been removed and the windows shut. The vents around the outside bottom of the house have been covered over with small boards he nails on (painted to match the house even!), in hopes that it helps keep the cold air from the crawl space under the house and up into our floors. We started doing this last year and I think it did help keep our electricity bills down a little bit.

If weather permits (sounds like Sunday might be my dry day) I'll be finishing clearing up some "dead" plants from our landscaping. I have a huge fuchsia bush that dies off this time every year and leaves a big brown mess of branches that I have to cut down to the ground and dispose of. I also need to cut my 2 rose bushes down. The one that was totally black and dead, until DD poured a bunch of Miracle Grow on it, grew green and very tall the rest of the summer, taller than me! But no roses ever bloomed on it this year. I'm hoping next year.... This year we planted a raspberry plant and a blueberry plant (no berries) in one of our whiskey barrel planters. Does anyone know if there is something I should be doing to the plants for winter? Do I cut them down? 

We've been having to turn the heat on in the mornings and evenings now, though I see DH isn't turning it quite as high as he usually does and he's been putting on a sweatshirt instead of cranking up the heat. Not sure why the change after all these years, but I'll take it.

Now when I bake something in the oven, I leave the door open for a bit, after I turn the oven off, to let the heat fill the room. Might as well not waste it!

Speaking of baking, I have been making us a dessert to snack on, about once a week. I've made a couple of cakes, peanut butter cookies one week, and brownies last week.  This weekend I think a pan of Tollhouse bars sounds like a good dessert to make. The trick will be to get them made before DH realizes there is cookie dough to eat!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Doctor visits

This morning was 2 doctor visits.  One for me to my regular monthly chiropractic visit. Over the past year or so my chiropractor has been trying to add a second doctor. I'm not sure what the issue is, but he's on about his 4th or 5th one! The first was a woman, but she was in 2 days a week and not on the day I always go in (Wed). Then he had a young man for awhile and he treated me once or twice.  I didn't care for him, so I always tried to wait until I could see my own guy. Last month he had an older guy, who I didn't not like at all.  I'm sure it's just me! I have had my same chiropractor for 7 years. I trust him to adjust me.  I just don't like having someone else do it. I hurt for 2 days after the last guy!
So, this morning I go in and see another new guy working there. I don't know why, but for some reason I trusted him right off.  Hopefully, he'll stay for awhile, if I can't have the clinic owner/doctor treat me.  I'm not pushy enough to speak up and say "hey, I only want Doctor N to adjust me!".

Later I went with DH to visit his regular doctor to see what he suggests about the constant nausea DH feels. His guess is that it might be acid reflux, so prescribed something to give a try for a couple weeks and see if that helps.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed this takes care of it. The prescription was one of those $4 ones, so that made me happy.  The prescription is Ranitidine, which I guess is Zantac, which is also available OTC at same strength, but a 30 day supply of a $4 prescription is way cheaper than buying a 30 day supply of Zantac over the counter.

I'm just glad DH was open to giving it a try. He is so anti medications. I won't be thrilled to get the doctor bill for $100 or so for the visit. I still HATE case anyone was wondering.....

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend recap

We had a busy couple of days. DS made a very quick trip home. He was here all but 36 hours and I think I got to see him maybe 3 hours, at the most.  DH got a few more hours with him. All in all it was kind of a frustrating time.  He did finally return some of our racing property, but since we now have no race trailer (he sold it!) he had to borrow a small open type car trailer to get some of the stuff home.  He is a PIG! Hate to say it about my own kid, but he is a total slob.  The old SUV/truck we have been letting him use the past 15 months is a total pigsty.  He's wrecked it on both ends (apparently trying to miss hitting a moose in Canada) but didn't bother telling us. It wasn't a brand new vehicle (we bought it used for $5000, an old railroad fleet vehicle) but it was in straight shape and clean inside and out. It's filthy inside and out now. All the stuff he did manage to get back here is dirty........and he knows DH keeps his stuff really clean! The example that was always set for him growing up is that when we borrow something from someone we give it back in better shape than we got it! It was all very disappointing and we feel very disrespected at this point.  DH and I worked VERY hard to earn the money to buy all that stuff over the past 8 years and it's all just a bunch of junk now. The only bright note in all of this is he is at least out of Canada and we don't have to worry about the possibility of never seeing our stuff again.  Where he is headed with his life, I don't know, but he isn't going to get far with his laziness, slobbery, and total lack of money management. He's a computer whiz and he's out doing odd jobs to earn money.

The good that came out of this trip is that they guy he is staying with and working for (he came too, and is a nice guy, from what we could tell in the short visit time) bought out everything that was left out of the racing shop of our dear friend that passed away a few years ago. DH has been slowly selling stuff for his widow over the past 2 years and it would have taken him at least another 2 years (he just doesn't have the physical energy to do it very fast). It is all gone and done with. He never has to go to that disorganized place again! I could write pages to describe that place (every time DH would go down and try to get all the parts and stuff organized and make some room to actually move around in the shop, his widow and her adult son would stuff more of their crap in there and move what he just organized!).  You don't know how happy this makes me that DH is done having this deathbed promise he made done with! It was just too much and too stressful for him.

And at least DS did take some time to stop and see his sister at college on his way back "home".

On another good note, DH cleaned out my vacuum the other day and now it works great again. It was very clogged and had stopped having much suction. Yay!

DD has signed up for Amazon Student Prime.  Supposed to be 6 months trial and then $49 for a year. I was wondering why we were able to get the Instant video's, as I thought I read that didn't come with the trial student version. So, I have been happily watching Downton Abbey episodes this past month. Yesterday, I noticed on her checking account online (it's linked with mine) that she got charged $99 for Amazon Prime! She called and somehow she got signed up for that (1 mo trial) and not the student version. (no wonder I was able to watch instant video). She called and got it cleared up and they switched her to Student trial version and removed her $99 charge. But then I lost being able to watch Downton Abbey! OH THE HORROR! I was in withdrawals within minutes! I wasn't waiting 5 more months for her trial version to be up to be able to finish watching it all (I'm just on the end of season 3). So, I logged in, paid the $49 fee for her, and got my Downton Abbey back! LOL

Not sure what I'm doing the rest of today.  Probably cleaning the bbq grill and putting it in the shed.  DH is outside with his handy dandy backpack leaf blower going around the property cleaning up leaves. We had a bit of a wind/rain storm yesterday. Oh, and I'm sure I'll watch at least one episode of Downton Abbey :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I really got nothin' to say today! There's really not much going on and kind of a blah day. Doesn't that just make you want to read, LOL.

Work has been stressful - but for my boss, not me.  She's not the type to pass her stresses on to her employees. (I love her!) She's been dealing with one thing after another that just zaps her time. As soon as she gets done with one long drawn out issue another pops up.  She got good news yesterday and I worked speedily this morning (I'm working from home today) to revise our mid year financials. After some much sought after advice from several CPA's, we finally got a consensus on how to report a major business change that took place, so now our financials don't look so scary to our bank, as we try to renew our line of credit with them.  She should be able to breathe a little easier, hopefully for awhile now.

The company I work for is still on the edge to making our yearly goal to pay out bonus's. I'm not holding out much hope that it will happen.  Honestly, I think it was a really unrealistic goal to base a bonus on. Pretty hard to do a 25% increase in business, based on this still shaky economy.  Oh well, gotta give our sales team props for coming pretty close!  I have a good job and good pay and work with great people. December/January comes annual reviews and hopefully I will get another salary increase at that time.  Only a few months away!

So, if you aren't snoring by now, stay awake and move on to the next (hopefully) more entertaining and informative blog :-)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The joys of couponing

I went to Target this morning to return some jeans in the wrong size I got for DH last week, and to use some coupons to get a deal on some Nature Made Vitamelts vitamins.  Almost didn't get the deal, due to a very crabby cashier!  I had 2 manufacturer coupons, one was for $3 off (and stated only one per customer, so that's all I had) to use on one bottle and one for $1 off to use on the other bottle. Then I had 2 Target store coupons for $1 off each.  The policy on those, at least in the past, has always been to be able to print out 2 and use them and be able to stack with a manufacturer coupon.

Well, the crabby cashier tells me right off - you can't use these coupons. You can only use one. I said, why not? I have always been able to use a Target store coupon with a manufacturer coupon. And she says "well, I tried one earlier and it didn't work, so you can't". DD says "my mom has been couponing for years....". I was just about to put up an argument with her (since I was in the mood and there was no one behind me to hold up the line) and she says "well, I try them". Sure enough, they all go through no problem.  Then she acts like "well, Target is changing how they do coupons, because people try to double up on them, so don't expect it to work on the future".

I'm pretty sure she doesn't have a clue what she is talking about (I go in that store almost every week and have never seen her checking before) and if she is right, then seriously? It's such a big crime to buy 2 of an item and use coupons on them? Give me a break!  Plus she didn't even greet us hello or say thank you. RUDE!