Friday, January 20, 2012
Tonight we are getting our first real snow of the season.
I really dislike snow. Snow is cold. I don't like being cold. I don't like having to dress in layers or wear heavy sweaters.
And yet I live in Michigan, where it gets cold and there is generally snow. Sigh. One of these days I just might get around to moving to warmer climes.
In the meantime it is snowing and very cold out. Which means I may have to shovel in the morning since neither teenager is likely to be awake when I want to leave for class. Yes, I know shoveling snow is exercise but I have plenty of other ways to get in my fitness minutes.
And in a fit of insanity I just registered for a winter series of 3 half marathons. Did I mention I really dislike snow and cold? Apparently the cold has frozen my brain cells.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Filing income taxes is one of the things I have never procrastinated about. By this time in January I am usually ready to file and just waiting for the final tax forms to be released. I've been like this since the early 90s, when I first started filing when I got married, as my now ex-husband's tax philosophy was have too much taken out of (my) check so we would get a ginormous refund every year...and he wanted the $$ as soon as possible.
Since the divorce in 2008 my philosophy is I'd rather have my money as I earn it and not give extra to the government to muck around with interest free during the year so I've been gradually dialing in my withholdings to try and achieve a no refund / no tax bill balance. I still took care of it immediately, just in case, because if I were to get a refund I wanted it immediately and if I were to owe I wanted as much time as possible to prepare for it.
But now I am "behind". I was on vacation from 12/28 - 1/8, and then sick all of last week and most of this. So I have not even started my taxes yet. This has been making me a little crazy.
My deep dark dirty secret is...I like doing taxes. If a parallel universe were to exist my counterpart is probably a CPA or tax accountant. Back when I started filing (in the years before tax software was available) I would do them by hand. I considered it a personal challenge to understand the forms well enough to "beat" the government at its own game and get back every penny owed. Even my first year of marriage when my ex insisted on having his CPA sister do our taxes I still did them by hand to compare mine to hers (about the same so I know I could trust my numbers).
Even after we got a computer and I used the tax software for the first few years I would double check and prepare a set by hand, which were always pretty darn close to the software. I don't do that anymore, mostly due to not wanting to spend the time for no additional benefit.
So today I am starting the process. I will likely still be delayed by the government not having all the federal or state forms released yet, or one of the banks or loan companies deciding to be stupid and not make information available until the last possible legal second, but I will have my part done. No procrastination here.
Although you'd think that if the government delays in releasing forms it would push back the April due date by a corresponding number of days so people would have the alloted amount of time to prepare adequately.
Yeah, I'm not holding my breathe either.
And one of these days I'll get around to taking a formal training class and become a tax preparer for real, probably when I retire for extra income or something to do. And to keep my brain sharp, staying ahead of the legal crooks we elect.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Just getting my daily blog done for the Winter 5% Challenge - Go Cats!
While I was on vacation Scout Dad, he painted most of the house last spring, came back and finally finished the ceiling & walls in the last 2 rooms. He's not a slacker, he was working his regular jobs over the months and finally had the free time over Christmas break to finish. And since he's not charging me anywhere near what a painting company would charge I'll work with his schedule. So now my ceiling is no longer textured, the light fixtures are once again properly installed and the walls are painted instead of paneling and the whole house flows together. Before he started every single room had a different look and feel which really dated the house and kind of created a low level of background stress for me.
I actually started on my daily housekeeping goal last Monday when we were back from vacation. That, plus having the kitchen area ceiling & walls finished, has really left me a lot less tense. That background stress again from when things aren't quite right but you're so used to the situation that you no longer notice it consciously...is gone and finally noticeable by its absence.
Purple Heart finally called again tonight to schedule a pick up time for this week when they are again in the area so I can get rid of several bags of stuff I've been waiting to donate. More background stress eliminated.
I'm hoping by tomorrow I'll finally be over the worst of this cold, it has completely wiped me out the past week. Today was the first day I felt almost OK energy wise...but was completely congested so couldn't breathe well. I miss exercising especially as being sick seems to increase my appetite (or at least it completely disables the stop switch).
Today it rained a lot, and now it is very cold, so I'm guessing there will be ice in the morning. Yay - NOT! The commute will be horrible if there is ice. It was bad enough this morning with everyone stopping to look at the water falling from the sky, whatever could it be, they've never seen such a thing before! Driving tests should be mandatory to weed out the stupid drivers. That would also do wonders for my stress levels.
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