Monday, February 25, 2008

Update on the tooth ...

This weekend was painfully long to say the least! I've never had such pain last for so long, well, not in a tooth. The medicine prescribed was to take away the pain but for some reason, there was no getting any relief. Then after a call to the dentist over the weekend, she asked me to call first thing this morning to see what time I could come in to have the work done on my tooth. What a blessing that call was, I couldn't have gone through two more nights like the ones I had over the weekend.

The doctors office called just as I had finished telling my boss what had happened, they had a spot if I could come to the office right away. After my appointment I returned to work to have my boss give me the rest of the day off. I headed home, got settled in, and Jenn and I both fell asleep on the couch watching "Phantom of the Opera." She was home sick with the flu and enjoyed the company ... asleep or not.

Time for me to catch up on that lost sleep this weekend ... zzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ouch, that hurts!

It's hard to imagine having to work your health and dental needs around a tax refund, or around a single parents budget, but one does what one needs to do. Recently, my son had to have a root canal and crown on one of his molars. He was too sweet to offer to have it pulled, in opposition to paying nearly two thousand dollars to keep his tooth. He had offered as he knew, that I too needed to have a tooth worked on, and though I appreciate his valor, he is too young to start losing his teeth.

So we set a plan in place, got his tooth fixed and mine will be fixed on Tuesday, provided I can stand to wait that long. For the time being, the doctor put me on an antibiotic and pain killer, so my blogging has been a bit sparse with the medications trying to take effect. I should be back in the swing of things as soon as the pain subsides. For now I'll try and relax, or at least concentrate on how to get some sleep in between the ouches!

At least for now, the only thing that is ouching is my tooth; the budget is yet to be bitten. ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Accessories for Your Automobile?

Sure. Why not? It makes perfect sense to me. After all, we women add accessories to nearly everything we wear in regard to clothing. So, why not add some classy auto accessories to our automobiles? Imagine it now ... cubic zirconiums outlining your rear-view mirror, with matching gemstones on the side-view mirrors ... sigh ... priceless! How about some gold knobs on the radio tuner, or CD channel changer, or your GPS system screen? The possibilities are endless. That is unless you are a tomboy, then all of that classy is just flashy!

I think I'll leave the designing to those who do it best; got any ideas for this classy chassis, my personal engineer? ;)

Samsonite, a Family's Choice in Luggage

As a child I remember making summer trips to my grandparents home each summer. My mom would pull out this large suitcase from under my bed and begin to fill it with a variety of clothes for the extended visit. What happened next to that piece of Samsonite luggage was not unusual at our house while packing for trips. When she left the room I would stuff all of my favorite items inside. It was fill so full that I would have to climb on top, sit down with my feet off the floor, and close the latches. When my mom would return, I would assure her that everything was packed and it was time to load it into the car. Thank goodness she never opened that suitcase!

They just don't make them like they used to, or do they?

Update on the DSL filter ...

This morning my telephone man called as I was headed out the door to work. He had been by yesterday and attempted to fix the phone line. He ran a new line from the inside jack to the outside jack first, as my son and his friend were heading out for a few minutes, thus causing the repair to be delayed until later.

The telephone man called after he completed his task outside to ask if I would test the line inside when I returned home from work. I did. It was the filter, so I removed the filter and simply used the line on either the phone or the computer. Then, while I was online last night I visited the telephone company site and reported the continued problem on my land-line. The problem was only half solved; I still needed a filter.

His call this morning saved me anywhere from $20 - $40 as he coming by before I head to work to drop off a filter that will replace the one fried by lightening. Since it came as part of the package from the phone company with my DSL unit, it only made sense they replace it. So, instead of kissing the cable man, perhaps I'll kiss the telephone man?

I think I'll save my kisses for "Mr.D" when next I see him. ;)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Oh Cable Man, I need YOU!

All right, this makes twice now that my parents have purchased cordless phones for us and twice that lightening has struck them dead! No, this time I at least get a dial tone amidst the sound of crackling and a sudden busy signal. Once you pick the receiver up you cannot hang it up, you have to unplug it from the wall and plug it back in to get a dial tone.

Why is this a problem? Well, I have a DSL connection that comes in through a filter so that we are able to utilize our phone at the same time. The storm killed the filter, and caused the cordless to loose some of its functionality. It appears I'll not only need a new DSL filter but a new cordless too! So, where's a cable man when you need him?

If I recall correctly, I once visited a site which carried HDMI cables, along with a multitude of other types of cables. Praise the cable man, they also have a DSL line filter with one plug and two jacks (one for the phone and the other for my DSL). I could just kiss that man right about now! I'll wait until I've received my new filter, then perhaps a kiss in the wind will have to do. You think?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Visiting Family

It was a much needed visit yesterday as we stopped by my parents for the first time in six weeks. Why so long between visits? Two reasons. Tax season began early in January and having only one day off per week to do all of those dreaded chores left unattended until that day, left no time for pleasure or play. So, with a full weekend to breathe we head down to see my parents and to shop for a few things we couldn't find in our town.

We arrived around 4 p.m. excited to see everyone, enjoyed a delicious meatloaf dinner, and an evening catching up on the events in the last six weeks. Both my parents had been sick in the month of January and Dad was still recovering as his emphysema makes for a longer road back to health. Mom said this was the sickest she had ever seen him. He said he could hardly walk from him chair in the family room to the far end of the kitchen without feeling like he was totally out of breath. Even though he has been sick, he looked really good last night.

On our way home I received a call from my second eldest daughter, Pamela, who announced that she is planning a trip down to visit in April. She will be traveling with a young man named David, who also has family here in NC. They are just beginning a dating friendship which may develop into something more in time, but for now she wants to take her time getting to know him. Good idea.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Catching up ... covering up ...

It's been since the second week in January that we've had a Saturday off from work. Tax season is proving to be taxing on lots of things much less the finances. For example, I've had far less time to take care of things like bank runs, yard chores, grocery shopping, blogging, and more. As spring approaches one thing is certain, I need to either get one of those camouflage car covers for that junker out back, that way the boys can use it as a shield when they have their paint-ball wars. Now that sounds like a suitable idea!

OMG ... speaking of things to do ... I'm headed to the bank now before they close ... be back soon! ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Either it's feast of famine ...

When we began this tax season we started off a bit slower than usual, however there have been days when it seemed there was not end in sight! Today seemed especially long, coupled with a growing need for rest, yet here I am trying to catch up with things I have had to put aside some days in order to get some sleep before hitting the tax tables each morning. Thank goodness for software programs that do the math for you, otherwise after a day like today, I'd fail to get the easiest of problems answered correctly. Well, perhaps I'll have more time tomorrow to catch you all up on the happenings around the office and here at home. For now, sweet dreams!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Who Claims Who? Tax Tip

When a young person (child/teen) living with their parents files their taxes for the first time, should someone be there to oversee the process? Yes! It would help if they both knew what they were looking for when it comes to who should claim the young person for the exemption. Let me see if I can explain this so you will understand.

Legally, the parent should claim the child/teen since they have provided more than 50% of their care (lodging, food, and overall support) for more than 6 months of the calendar year. After all, let's face it, not too many teens make much more than the single standard deduction amount each year. As long as the child/teen is living with and being supported by the parent, they can be claimed as a dependent on their parents return.

So, when filing your taxes as a child/teen, if you are still in school, living at home, and being supported by your parent, ask if they will be claiming you on their tax return as a dependent. Your tax return should reflect Single status, and ZERO exemptions. You will get to use the current standard deduction amount ($5350 for 2007) to reduce your taxable income (most likely wipe it out altogether) and any tax you may have will be minimal compared to your parent.

For example, if a child/teen makes less than the standard deduction for the filing status "Single" which equals $5350, then they will receive back all of their Federal withholding for the year. Like this:

Adjusted Gross Income: Up to $5350 .00

Single Standard Deduction: - $5350.00

Taxable Income: $ 0

Refund: $ All Federal Withholding for Current Return

As long as the taxpayer doesn't owe back taxes, or child support, they would get back all of their Federal withholding. The same is true of most states however they are not as forgiving with what they consider the bottom line to be taxable. Most young people receive back some of the withholdings for their state.

If the child/teen makes the mistake of claiming themselves on their return, it could well cost the parent as much as $1500.00 of their deserved refund. So, be careful, respect your parents, and ask questions before filing your taxes as a young person. Make sure you should be the one taking that personal exemption amount, as most of you will wipe out your taxable with the standard deduction amount.

Parents, if this happens to you, you can resolve the problem by filing a paper return with the child/teen on your return. The IRS will then send each of you a letter asking them if either used the exemption incorrectly. The child would need to respond to the letter explaining the error in using that exemption, thus allowing the parent to utilize the exemption on their return. There is no need for the parent to respond to the letter, as they did not use the child in error. The IRS should then correct the situation and allow the parent's return to be properly processed for their refund.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Surprise Valentine Visit!

It was the end of another long work week, and after a brief meeting with my boss, Jenn and I headed home. I decided to go by Wal-Mart too pick up groceries we needed but Jenn kept insisting she was too tired to do a lot of shopping. So we stopped on the way home and picked things up the three things we needed from Food Lion . We also stopped at the little country store before reaching the house.

As I pulled into the driveway, she asked me not to drive too far up into the yard, that the rain had softened the ground and she didn't want me to mess up the yard. I should have picked up on her signals, but after the long week I had just finished, I was not putting things together.

Ignoring her request I pulled forward to park my van. As I did I saw a little yellow car parked beside the house, I was so excited that I quickly exited the van and entered the house to find my visitor. When I opened the front door the aroma of a home cooked meal greeted my senses. In great anticipation of holding someone in my arms, I rounded the corner to find "Mr.D" hiding behind my bedroom door! LOL!

What a wonderful surprise for him to come up to visit a week before planned. After getting a few hugs and kisses, we headed to the kitchen and there on the table was a bouquet of a dozen rainbow colored roses ... sigh ... along with a sweet note, a bottle of red wine, and a pork roast dinner. What more could a woman ask for after a long hard week at work? We all spent the remainder of the evening together watching movies, before turning in.

Then this morning we arose to the sun shining, and we knew we had to get moving for the day. A nice breakfast together and "Mr.D" was back on the road again to attend to things necessary for the coming work week. The kids and I did the same. Laundry and my online work. Now it's time for bed. Thank you Jenn for helping pull off the surprise, and for helping with the laundry.

Thank you "Mr.D" for surprising me, with the beautiful roses, the scrumptious dinner, the wine, the movies, and most especially ... YOU! Once again, you prove that any day spent showing someone you love, how much you love being with them, is truly a "Valentine's" day!

Who Wants a Memory Foam Mattress???

I do! I do! I really, really, do!!!

Sixty-six and one half hours of work this week, and right about now I need a good nap. I'm sure it would help, however a nap on my current bed would pale in comparison to that of a new queen sized memory foam mattress. As one of nearly thirty-three entries in a contest by, I won't lie, I'd love to see our entry win!

In addition to replacing my sagging spring mattress with a new memory foam mattress, it would mean freeing up resources for this single parent, which would allow me to purchase new beds for the kids as part of my tax refund. Their beds are more than ten years old, and I am sure they'd rest better on new ones.

Take a look the winners thus far:

Winner #1
January 17th - "It is time for a NEW MATTRESS!" submitted by
Winner #2
January 18th -
"Lil' Ceej Commercial" submitted by Cherryl
Winner #3
January 21st - "Sleep Outside the Box; An Epic Mattress" submitted by
Winner #4
January 23rd -
"Beds — It’s a Hard Choice!" submitted by Maggie
Winner #5
January 30th -
"" submitted by justsimplyholly
Winner #6
January 31st - "New Year's Resolutions" submitted by Melissa's Place

Wish us luck, we all need a better night's sleep!

Friday, February 1, 2008

I love you ...

"Mr.D" ... from my heart to yours ... soon ... very soon ... :*

Family Land Investment

Years ago my grandfather built his home on one third of a city block. At the time there wasn't even a paved road yet and his home was stylish for its time. It originally had seven rooms; four bedroom, one bath, living room, and kitchen. Over the years he added an enclosed side porch and a bait and tackle shop. The side porch acted as an entry for the house and a passage way from the kitchen to the shop. My great-grandfather lived with my grandparents and stayed busy by working in the shop.

As the years passed my grandparents divorced, and my grandfather was eventually placed in a care facility while his home sat idle. After a bit a cousin moved in and lived there until she bought a home of her own. It was sad what happened next as my uncle was forced to leave the house sitting during an illness. We all agreed it was a horrible waste of a family's land investment which had been passed down for posterity. Thank goodness my uncle was able to renovate the old house and turn his investment around.

There are a multitude of wonderful memories of happier times with my family in that home, but there will be time for sharing those later. For now those memories remain stored in my heart ...