I posted a lengthy update to last nights’ post about Flying J—all is well with our credit card—a good thing!
Sunday, October 30, 2016
The $151 charge from Flying J wasn’t on our credit card statement when I checked this morning. Our friend Jeane sent us a link to the following article which does a good job of explaining holds. I only copied and pasted a few paragraphs from the entire article.
“Swipe a card at the gas pump or check in to a hotel — or any place where your final total isn't known — and merchants often place a temporary hold on the account. The purpose is to make sure you can pay for that tank of gas, or for raiding the minibar on your way out.
"They’re used in situations where the total purchase is not known and cannot be easily returned," says Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus, a nonprofit that creates technology education and standards for the convenience store and retail petroleum industry.
Holds (sometimes called "blocks") can sometimes confuse consumers because there are three parties involved:
- The card networks (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express) can set outside limits on how long a hold can last. For instance, a Visa hold can't exceed 30 days. An American Express hold can't last more than seven days for most of its cards, and no more than 15 days for its Bluebird and Serve products, according to a company spokeswoman.
- Individual card-issuing banks set the actual deadlines for how long a specific hold will remain. That can vary by bank, retailer, type of purchase and transaction, and cardholder.
- Merchants set the size of the hold. But the merchants don't ever receive that hold amount. They only receive the final transaction amount (otherwise known as your real total).
Compounding the confusion, hold times can sometimes differ between credit and debit cards, too.
With holds, the merchant electronically asks your card issuer, in advance, if you're good for a certain preset amount, says Shelle Santana, professor of business administration at Harvard University. On the other end of that electronic conversation, your card issuer sets aside that amount.
With a credit card, your credit line is temporarily reduced by the hold amount; with a debit card, the available balance is reduced. When the purchase is totaled, the difference between the hold and the purchase is credited back to the consumer.” http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/need-know-credit-debit-card-holds.php
This summer Costco dropped American Express and issued cards through Citibank. A good friend of ours had her phone set up to receive alerts any time her credit card is used. I chose to set our phone to receive alerts when a certain dollar amount is charged. This was the first time we were aware a “hold” was happening. In my traveling days I was aware of hotels with this practice but not gas stations.
This doesn’t change our minds about Flying J/Pilot stores—still not a fan. I was on hold for 10 minutes this morning and finally left a message which has not been returned. There are lots of gas stations out there with trucker pumps—we use those—they are usually $0.10/gallon less expensive than Flying J. Michael uses Google Earth to look at gas stations along the way for access and he uses Gas Buddy for pricing.
And after today’s experience we are most definitely NOT Flying J/Pilot shoppers! Many RVers use Flying J/Pilot truck stops due to the chain’s discount cards. Michael and I have never subscribed to that theory—every Flying J/Pilot truck stop we have ever seen is a zoo and a few cents off fuel just isn’t worth the hassle.
Today Michael let the promise of Dairy Queen ice cream draw him in to a Flying J as he was driving across Utah on his way back to Arizona from Montana. I had just spoken with him and he told me he was getting gas and ice cream. My cell phone is set up to text me if someone charges over a set amount on our Costco Visa card—it dinged and the text told me a charge for $151 was made at a Pilot store in Utah. Well now—that’s a lot of ice cream Michael!!! He’s in the Chevy pickup which by no means would hold $151 worth of fuel. When I called him back he denied eating that much ice cream and said he had put $37 in gas in the truck.
I called our credit card company and was told it’s Flying J/Pilot policy to “reserve” way more funds on your credit card than the gas station thinks you will use. And that charge will NOT come off your credit card for 2-3 days! It’s a dang good thing Michael and I don’t live close to the limit on our credit cards! What a ridiculous and outrageous scam—you couldn’t PAY us to shop at Flying J/Pilot stores—never again!
Emmi and I are still holding down the fort—yesterday I washed windows inside and out—this house has a LOT of windows!! Today I grocery shopped, walked the dog, and touched up some painting here in the hosue. We are both ready for Dad to get home!
Cute grandchildren photos coming up:
And sunset in the desert:
Friday, October 28, 2016
Way too early this morning I dropped Michael at the Mesa airport, we left North Ranch at 3:30am! And do we ever have some amazing friends—Emmi was going to have a sleep over with Larry and Geri last night but at the last minute we changed our minds. I was just going to take her with me to the airport and come home instead of trying to do some shopping.
Nope, Geri said, “bring her to us in the morning.” At 3:30am!!! Geri even set the alarm clock—those are friends to cherish and we do!
The cowboy arrived in Montana right on time and was retrieved at the airport by Lonn—Michael called me from the “phone booth” up in the hayfields. Our house sits by the creek and cell signal is non-existent without the booster which he didn’t want to pack home—so it’s the phone booth up on the hill where the phone receives a signal. Michael went home to retrieve our Can-Am and the truck—he will drive back to AZ sometime next week.
I was driving away from the airport at about 5:30am. It took me a while to get back on the other side of Phoenix and I was hungry—by the time I finished breakfast the tile store was open—7am! After wandering the store for about a hour I finally made a decision and purchased tile for our countertops and back splash. Floor and Decor—a great store—helpful people, good prices and a good selection.
OK, now it is 8am and Costco doesn’t open until 10am. Target wandering and shopping in JoAnn’s killed a couple hours. I breezed through Costco and was back in Wickenburg before noon.
Emmi was so happy to see me but she ran around looking for Michael—I’m usually the one taking trips—this is different for the spoiled little pooch!
Sunrise Thursday morning.
There’s been a bit of a kerfunkle with our voting ballots—Michael’s absentee ballot finally came in the mail today but mine is missing in action—I may or may not get to vote and you know what, this election it wouldn’t bother me at all!
It’s only 4pm as I write this blog but after my sleepless night and early rising—I can hear my bed calling!
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
A couple years ago while enjoying a quilt retreat weekend in Red Lodge, Montana several of us purchased a Buggy Barn pattern book and fabric kit to make a “When The Cows Come Home” quilt. Buggy Barn patterns are unique in that nothing has to really fit or match up. This particular pattern has many, many pieces—did I say many, many pieces for each block. The pieces are sewn together then any excess is just whacked—so each “cow” is unique. When I saw the sample quilt I knew immediately who was going to receive this one when it was finished.
Well—my sister-in-law Vicky was thrilled—her birthday is today and the quilt came in the mail on Monday. She and my brother live on our grandfather’s farm in Arkansas and raise cows—appropriate!
Cindy P—yes, we use Canadian pharmacies all the time! Canada Drugs.com. Your physician must either fax the order to them or you must send them your actual written prescription. You can go to the website and see what your particular medication will cost in Canada. Shipping is free and usually doesn’t take long. We found Canadian medications to cost one third to one half what the same medication costs here in the US.
Kim Har—how do I hang quilts—well first you have to attach a “sleeve” like the one shown in this photo:
The directions which came with the rod stated to make a full sleeve the width of your quilt top and snap the black rod holder over the fabric of the sleeve—that doesn’t work as you can see in these photos—see how it puckers the top edge above the hanging clip.
Other versions of this quilt hanger have you make a split sleeve with room for the hanging clip to just clip on the rod and not the sleeve—so that’s what I did today, I took the binding and sleeve off, cut out a section, re-hemmed the edges and hand sewed all the edges to the quilt back.
All edges of your sleeve must be sewn down to the quilt back—otherwise your sleeve hangs above your quilt—not a good look! Does that all make sense Kim—or clear as mud??
Still rather warm here—cooler days are coming—at least that’s what the weather man says????
Monday, October 24, 2016
You are all probably weary of my bragging about the cowboy’s talents—but look what he made:
Today was flu shot day—we used the clinic in Congress and killed a bunch of trees judging from the amount of paperwork we had to complete—next time I’m going to Safeway! We are firm believers in flu shots—when I traveled frequently via airplanes—I was sick all the time with a cold which of course I would then share with Michael. A flight attendant heard me hacking and coughing one evening. She told me “it makes no sense but if you will get a flu shot, you won’t get sick so often.” Well—she was right!
And poor little Emmi got a haircut today—I do it myself and today was experiencing extreme regret! She has always been difficult to groom but today Ms. Emmi was on a tear—it’s not the greatest job I’ve ever done but at least she is cooler.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Friday evening we enjoyed having our friends over for burgers and brats with the brats coming all the way from Montana and Pioneer Meats. Jim and Ellie, Mike and Pat along with their guests JRoger and Susan plus Larry and Geri joined us for a fabulous potluck dinner. The conversations and laughter flowed—it was a great evening! When Jim and Ellie have visited us in Montana, Jim loved the Pioneer Meats brats—so before we left Montana we stocked the motorhome freezer!
As you readers are aware we had one t00 many OHV rigs—a Polaris RZR and a Can-Am Commander. The plan was—bring the RZR to Arizona and attempt to let someone take it off our hands at the end of the season. Well, that plan went out the window and the RZR went out the door today. Now the cowboy is plotting his return to Montana!
Today Michael worked on the hardware for the master bath sliding barn door. I sanded the actual door giving it another coat of polyurethane. Had to make a trip to Wickenburg for more polyutrethane.
I am researching Los Algodones dentists—anyone out there have any recommendations? The people we met while ATVing near Blanding this past spring used Dr. Rubio and his group of dentists—I’m leaning that way as both Mike and Eileen had extensive work and are very pleased.
I finished a quilt binding today and the quilt adds some color to our naked walls--
Walks, walks with the dog, visiting with neighbors—that’s what’s happening around here. We did enjoy another Congress Mercantile pizza tonight!
Thursday, October 20, 2016
It’s been a little too warm for ATVing at least in my book but we were all getting antsy! So, today it was breakfast in Yarnell where it’s a little cooler. It takes about a hour and fifteen minutes to reach the Ranch House Restaurant from North Ranch on ATVs.
Back home we both spent some time cooling off as by the time we were back at North Ranch it was a toasty 88 degrees! I’m doing some paperwork for Nat with the Veterans Administration and it works my brain to its capacity!!!
I am officially unpacked—when we arrived a week ago lots of stuff was just dumped in the office/sewing room. Today was organization day and I was successful—now I can find something—I hope!
Check this out—because this little girl’s Mom and Dad have decided to move to Germany—really the USAF decided it for them—she has to have a passport. I’m thinking she really doesn’t like to have her photo taken!
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Monday was the first homeowner’s association meeting of the season—I am the secretary and was a touch overwhelmed at this busy meeting. Our yearly election is held in February and there are many tasks which must be completed before then—many which fall under my list.
In the afternoon Geri and I attended a fashion show of Cabi clothing—fun and entertaining—beautiful stuff but a touch expensive.
We’ve been taking short walks in the mornings before it gets too warm—don’t want to run into any more snakes! After our walk we drove to Wickenburg—first stop was a garden center/nursery for some shrubs to plant along side the house where we removed the large trees last year. A stop at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store netted us a power cord and a “looks brand new, never used” angel food cake pan.
We enjoyed lunch at our favorite Mexican food restaurant, stopped at the hardware and grocery stores then headed home so Michael could assemble his new toy!!
Many, many years ago in another life Michael installed those huge flying saucer sized satellite dishes. The man is talented, I am telling you! His mother decided she wanted one of those satellite dishes—they lived on the ranch where TV reception was non-existent. Joy told Michael if he would learn how to install and service the satellite dishes, she would front the money to set him up in business.
When we first married and would be driving around the county, he would point and say, “I installed that dish….I installed that dish…..” He did very well financially with that little side business. Well, technology moves on. Michael then contracted with our local telephone co-op to install and service the smaller dishes of todays’ technology. With these dishes one of the job perks was free programming.
A few years pass and Wal Mart as well as other big box stores start selling the small satellite dishes and Michael’s side career in that technology ended. We came home one evening, turned on the TV and found a message scrolling across the screen which ended our free programming. The cowboy said, “I’m not paying for TV.” Without a satellite dish of some sort, TV reception at our house is also non-existent. So, for the last 15 to 18 years we have had no TV at home. In the motorhome we occasionally pick up over the air channels but not at home in Montana.
OK—now for the power cord and Michael’s new toy—our friends Mike and Pat were selling a large TV—they purchased a new, bigger one. They included a sound bar with the deal but couldn’t locate the power cord for it—Re-Store to the rescue! So, we go from no TV to purchasing a normal size TV from Tom and Sandy last season, to this nice, huge one with great sound—the cowboy is thrilled. We receive a large number of over the air TV channels and he’s happy!
Our friends Bonnie and Robert are here briefly getting their park model/lot ready to sell—they bought a house here in North Ranch late last spring. We enjoyed a happy hour this afternoon with them plus Larry and Geri—Bonnie and Robert will return after Thanksgiving.
See—we are busy—and now I have shrubs to plant!
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Yesterday and today I slaved away in the hot sun putting to death our newest crop of weeds which grew while we were way. Actually, we didn’t have a lot of weeds but enough to make sweat! Today I added tree trimming to my list of duties—the yard looks great! Michael puttered in the garage.
Larry and Geri rolled in to North Ranch about 10:30 yesterday morning—it was great to see them! And as it was their travel day I made us all a spectacular dinner—pork tenderloin in a newly discoverd marinade, Pioneer Woman smashed potatoes, green beans and the Montana Grizzly Bar famous dessert—ice cream balls rolled in tiny chocolate chips drizzled with raspberry sauce.
Before, during and after dinner we talked and talked—catching up after a few months apart—they became first time grandparents this summer. It was probably about 8pm when Larry and Geri walked home—they only live a couple doors down the street—and my phone beeped with a text message. OH MY—a rattlesnake was stretched across their driveway and Larry almost stepped on the dang thing—it was a big guy with lots of rattles. Seems that’s not the first rattlesnake seen in the park lately. Every stick I saw today was a snake!!!
Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary—pretty good for a marriage lots of people said wouldn’t last—we were too different—raised in the country turned city girl marries a cowboy. Michael makes me happy—we have our ups and downs as do most married people but he’s still the right one for me!
Sunset in the desert--
Friday, October 14, 2016
Unloading the motorhome that is!! We arrived at North Ranch about 4:30 Thursday afternoon and it was a touch warm. Pizza from our favorite Congress pizza place for supper and we unloaded just enough stuff for the night. I went to bed dreading the task of unloading all that stuff I knew I had packed but by 5pm today it was all in the house and most was stored away. I even made a quick trip to the Congress post office to get our mail forwarding sorted and a trip to Wickenburg to send a package.
You have to love Amazon—Michael gave me a Nikon point and shoot camera for my birthday in September. My Canon was having some issues—the flash didn’t work and neither did the macro function. I wasn’t happy with the Nikon—I always felt the photos I took were not clear—I sent Amazon a return request and today the camera was shipped back to the seller. Thank you Amazon!
The moon is gorgeous tonight—Emmi and I took a walk in the desert after the sun went down.
Our house looked great—no issues except a few weeds in the yard—it’s good to be back!
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Monday night was spent in noisy Billings and Tuesday morning we woke to about 2 inches of wet snow—UGH! By the time my haircut was finished and I was back at the motorhome, the snow had stopped. But—it caught up with us in Sheridan, Wyoming in blizzard form! I was just about ready to say to my driver, “get this thing off the road!” when the snow stopped and we could see patches of blue sky ahead. The rest of Tuesday we traveled on dry pavement—a very good thing!
Tuesday we spent the night near windy, cold Muddy Gap, Wyoming in the Independence Rock rest area. Gosh it was miserable—we tried to go out and walk around the huge granite rock early settlers used as a landmark but it was just too cold to stand in that wind reading plaques. We did spot some of the signatures the men and women carved into the granite—but we didn’t tarry long!
And in the midst of all that cold and wind—the refrigerator stopped working on propane! Our only choice for refrigerator power was to start the generator and leave it running all night—a first for us! The motorhome has a Hydro-Hot heating system located under our bed in one of the bays—it’s noisy and we never use it at night but last night with the generator going, 27 degrees and windy—we used the heat. Semi trucks came and went all night adding to our noise and my lack of sleep.
Today we covered some miles and tonight we are parked in what we consider a little slice of paradise. It’s an OHV staging area south of Moab, Utah where we have boondocked in the past with Larry and Geri. It is quiet and there isn’t another soul in sight! Plus it is about 70 degrees and the cowboy has the refrigerator working on propane again—he just couldn’t make himself go out in that cold wind last night and I couldn’t blame him!!
Emmi has been walked and we’ve played ball—life is good, especially for the pooch!
Monday, October 10, 2016
Sort of! Anyone who has been reading this blog for very long knows how picky I am about a haircut. So, we took our time this morning stopping to visit Nat to say goodbye and headed to Billings where we are parked for the night. We enjoyed a great lunch at Jake’s, picked up the cowboy’s new custom made hat, bought a few groceries at Wal Mart/Costco and are now settled in for the night. Tomorrow morning early I have a hair appointment then the big pink bus is pointed south. The weather forecast is for snow tonight—we sure hope that’s wrong!
Remember me saying Lora had decided she didn’t like cameras--
Totally forgot today was a holiday—no banking for us and no talking to the post office. I spent what seemed like forever on the phone with Arizona Power today trying to coax their customer service person into finding my address. APS has the address listed in their system by lot number on a street, not by house number. This lady was NOT going to turn power on to our house! I had my account number but for some reason the only address she could find was for the lot we rented year before last in North Ranch. This same thing happened last year and like this time—the correct address is finally located. Believe me, this time I made a note in my phone—it’s street name and lot number!!
So—let the winter season begin!
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Who knows! We always seem to forget something—the last two years in a row it’s been rechargeable drill batteries or the actual charger—and guess who those belong to! Not me! But that’s not to say I haven’t forgotten my share of stuff too! The motorhome is groaning at the seams I think as much stuff as we’ve carried out there the last couple of days.
Michael loaded the RZR and jeep this afternoon. The rest of our vehicles are stuffed into the garage—it’s amazing what the cowboy can make fit in that two car plus garage!
Saturday afternoon we took another run to Lonn’s to deliver Christmas packages and other stuff but missed seeing anyone. The owners are in residence so that meant Lonn and Michael (Katie’s husband) were occupied. The girls were out taking photos—take a look:
It’s always a beautiful drive over the mountain to Lonn’s house--
Life is good!
Friday, October 7, 2016
Twenty plus years ago when Michael and I married there were no grizzly bears in our neck of the woods. We had black bears and while I have a healthy respect for them, I wasn’t afraid the bears would jump out and get me. Over the years I’ve had three close run-ins with black bears—as close as 20 feet from me and those bears were just as afraid of me as I was them—running in the opposite direction!
Well, now it seems we have grizzly bears—a grizzly was hit and killed by a car on the Boulder Road, our neighbors have seen grizzly bears near our home making us just a touch nervous! Tonight walking Emmi we were coming back up our creek side trail and stumbled upon a HUGE pile of bear scat!! There is no way to tell just by looking at the poop if it’s grizzly or black bear but my skin sure did crawl!! Emmi and I made fast tracks back to the house singing all the way—and my singing should scare just about anything away!
Packing, packing and packing some more. Michael stored away all the equipment today and I cleaned the flower beds—a chore I’m always glad to have finished in the fall so when spring comes the beds can just come to life. I also wrapped and boxed Christmas presents—we will take them over to Lonn’s before we leave—organized aren’t I!!!
I finished the binding on this sweet little lap quilt today—I love the colors!
Life is good!