Thursday, April 19, 2018

Snow is still flying.  April 19.  Sure we don't get as much here as I did back in the Jingle, but this is getting a little ridiculous.  I keep saying it has to be almost over and now I am starting to think every time I say that I am cursing us to another week of cold and depressing weather.  I need my spring boost of energy, let's make this happen mother nature.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

It's amazing what a little sunshine and warm weather can do...of course, as I type this the temperatures are dropping again and I've already received the ice precip alert email.  This weekend was beautiful - 70s and 80s!  Avery and I only got one walk around the neighborhood in, but we also walked around the outlets quickly on Friday night.  She got to try on her first pair of shorts and sported her sunglasses, sunhat, and bare feet too this weekend!  The flowering trees around here are bursting forth and I've seen a ton of daffodils glowing gold.

In addition to some cleaning/routine tasks this weekend...  Saturday morning Avery cooperated enough that I got some work done in her room, moving the extra dresser out of her closet to the spare bedroom and reorganizing her closet a bit.  I even scooped up everything I could find in the back yard.  While I did take a pass a while back that lightened the load, there was still plenty to gather.

I pulled the mower out briefly earlier today to catch the patch out back that is getting too tall/thick already.  I do think some of the yard will likely need additional seeding this year, but part of it is quite lush and thick already.  I also got some new shelves organized in the basement with some of my extra canned goods and baby foods.  Finally, the safety latches are on the main cabinets, ready for when the wee one is fully mobile.  That was after church and a bit of grocery shopping.

I feel like I achieve so much this weekend.  I swear the warm weather was to "blame". One thing I always forget about though is how the nicer weather comes with sinus issues.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I've lived what - half of my anticipated life span?  I still haven't figured a ton of stuff out.  The one thing I know for sure is that no matter how much I have changed and grown through the years, I'm still me at the core and there are a lot of people out there who don't like _me_.  Wherever I go - there I am, right?  As the Lost Dog Street Band says - My body's a prison, my mind is a cell - and you can't get away from yourself.

I'm a better person/human being than I was how many years ago.  I know that.  But I still have to put on a mask and not relax or let down my guard completely.  The biggest thing I've gotten zinged on through the years by those closest to me is being negative.  Aren't we supposed to have someone close to us that we can let that stuff out too?  Are we supposed to let it all fester inside?

I carry emotional scars that I try to not allow to reopen, but sometimes they do.  Whether it's the memory of the first person who carved me up when I was younger or the emails that I should probably delete (even though I can remember the words clearly) from my biggest crushing blow.  It's even the people who barely knew me when I was in the depths of that crushing blow but kept their distance because I simply wasn't "well enough" for them.

I guess it's a good time to say thank you again to the people who are always there for me, and to remind myself that I do have people I can truly call friends - that care and don't mind when I'm down, need to complain, or feel like a failure.  I'm reminded too of one of those great friends, Christine, who will be gone for a year already next month, the person who was there - physically - within minutes at all hours when I struggled to heal from the crushing blow.  I miss you friend.

I look at my sweet little girl and she's so happy.  Please Lord, don't allow anyone to reach in and change who she is at the very core with hateful words or actions.  May she always be so sweet and happy.  Don't be like me.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I finally snapped after over a year living here and sought out a new massage therapist as I know I'll never get back to Johnstown during windows when my favored massage therapist is working, plus I've been in a world of hurt.  My back, my hips, my shoulders, everything.  I felt wonky in bed like I was at an angle too.  Last night after and today I am sore like a tenderized piece of meat, especially right in my arm pits, but it's a good pain as the rest of it is dialed back quite a few notches.  I felt like I was laying flat last night too!

I really have taken a step back in the past few weeks and realized I need to do more for me (the hair cut, this massage - I want to get in for a pedi).  I need it to feel human again and to motivate me into spring.

Monday, March 26, 2018

We had a pleasant, but chilly weekend.  I left Avery behind on Saturday morning w/ her Dad so I could do something for me.  All I've done morning, noon, and night for months now is pulled my hair back to avoid it being in the way when holding my sweet girl close.  It really drained me to just have a mess of hair that was always in the way.  So I went and got a cut and color.  My most recent visit for cut and color was less than 24 hours before I went into labor, so that was 7 months ago and I was long over due.  I feel so much more human and like I still exist as more than "Avery's Mom".  It's a good bit shorter, but I love it.  When you get your hair done that last thing you want to do is sit at home.  So on Saturday afternoon we headed out to do a little running.

Sunday however was our big adventure - back to Johnstown.  The young Mr Law was celebrating receipt of his Eagle Scout award and I'm so glad we were able to go.  It boggles me how quickly time has gone that this amazing guy was just a wee little one like my Avery a blink of an eye ago.  Here he is - all grown and with so many hugely symbolic events falling at his feet in the next few months.  It's an exciting time in a young adult's life.  I pray he enjoys each and every moment of it.

While we were there we took the opportunity to quickly get together with the Wild One and her family.  Kids being the germ pools that they are and all, she hadn't gotten to meet Avery yet.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Let's talk about something that is none of my d*mn business, but too bad.  I couldn't help but notice the overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke as I went to leave daycare this morning, walking through the older kids' section past their coats.  If you smoke around you're kid you're an a-hole.  That includes if you smoke inside the home in which they live.

Do I think my parents were a-holes?  Yes, kind of, they also had the minor excuse of it being a different time, but it doesn't fully excuse them from the a-holishness of it.  People with young children today knew damn well how dangerous those things were when they started smoking.

Why are you an a-hole?  Let's throw all of the health related issues out there.  You're poisoning your children, destroying their lungs, putting them at greater risk for asthma (if you're lucky) and cancers.  You're also doing the same thing to yourself.  If you die, your kids finish growing up without a parent.  I know.  I watched the result of smoking help take my father down when I was 12.  I was blessed that my Mom made it to my 40s, but her smoking also is what contributed to her death.  They both would have been here longer had they not smoked - my Mom would have met my daughter, her granddaughter.

Outside of the health factors:
Your kid stinks.  Yep, you can't smell it - but your kid is the one that smells bad at school.  Sure it isn't BO but it's still incredibly gross and I bet other kids comment or make fun.  Your kids stuff all stinks and gets discolored and dirty looking.  So much for keeping that favorite toy and it looking respectable to cherish for the rest of their lives.

I bet some kids don't want to come to your house - or some of their parents don't want their kids around your kid because they'd be exposed to the smoke and smell.  Your child doesn't understand why those kids don't want to be their friend, they think it's something personal - something wrong _with them_.

You waste how much money every year sucking crap into your lungs.  What could that money do to cushion either your retirement (so your kid doesn't have to help pay for your health care if you do actually make it to old age) or give your child a good foot forward on education expenses or as a nice inheritance.

If you're one of those parents who does go outside to smoke do you think you're in the clear?  No sir.  How much time are you wasting outside feeding your addiction instead of playing or spending time with your child.  You think it's only 5 minutes, but 5 minutes every what... two hours?  Every hour?

Parents would do anything for their kids, right?  So why not quit?  Stop being selfish.  Do it today.  Your kids look up to you.  Be the hero they see you as.  Enlist their help to encourage you and tell you "no no no!" , teach them that sometimes you make mistakes too, teach them that sometimes things worth doing to better yourself require effort and commitment.

I've never been a smoker and I don't know personally how difficult that is to do, but I have no doubt it isn't easy.  I know people who have done it - and I'm so proud of them (even years after they tossed that junk aside).  You can do it.  Please!

Monday, March 19, 2018

The taxes are finished.  All said and done I lost half of my federal return to the house in Johnstown.  On one hand it was a blessing that it was only half (after our initial pass made it look like it would be swallowed whole) on the other hand I'm still pissed I lost half.  Between the large fee for the tax work (because of all of the forms and the several hundred dollars I owe PA *hiss* there is even less of that half to use for other purposes.  Regardless, I'm shaking it off because I'm done.  There is nothing else that will effect me from there.  I can, at least, still put a small chunk into Avery's savings and do some smaller things here I wanted to do, even if I won't be re-cushioning my slush fund.

I'm slowly getting used to the new phone.  It isn't as large as it could be, and I'm not struggling as much as I expected in that regard.  The biggest problem so far has been convincing Avery that the sparkly case is not a play toy, but I suspect that struggle will go on for years.  Speaking of her, can I go back to Friday?  I hate Mondays extra now that they follow up a weekend of getting to hang out with my sweet girl.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Still no final answers on my 2017 taxes to report.  I can give you the update that the previous calculations were done using a 50/50 split rather than a 1/3 split to the apartment, so that helps a little.  I offered up more potential counter information and now I am holding and waiting.  I'm really not liking the delay that this years experience has to it.  I'm tempted to schedule another appointment so I have a definitive timeline on when I can expect my information to be completed.

I did move out on one item I've been wanting to purchase that I was considering being part of my tax refund and that's a new cell phone.  Buying a new phone is a big commitment to me.  My old one was purchased in August 2014, so I definitely get my use out of one.  She's still operating reasonably well, but my big push is to have a better camera and video capability along with more memory for vacations and day to day capturing of the moments with Avery.  Pretty good excuse, huh?!

Fortunately, with the Samsung Galaxy s9s coming out the s7s dropped in price.  I know it seems wrong to buy an older phone, but I was rocking a s4, so this is still a huge step up and not as massive of a cost.  Best Buy was also offering a better deal than direct through AT&T, so I am getting the phone for $279.99 instead of over $400.  I can swallow that price point a lot easier than $700, $800, $900.  I am going to put it on the plan since there is no interest and it only ups my bill by $9.33 a month, again - tolerable.  I guess I need to order some cute cases.  I'll be sad to see some of my fun ones go.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

I'm trying hard to not allow the stress to settle in on me.  But the house back in Jtown may have gotten one more laugh.  I knew I'd have some impact to my taxes selling it because of the rental, but right now it is looking ridiculous.  I'm still hopeful that there is an error on the part of the tax consultant, but I haven't heard back yet.

The issue:  capital gains.  To summarize in plain speech, the IRS thinks I made a bunch of money on the place *laugh*.  I sold it for $26,500 more than I paid for it back in 1999.  Of course that's not what I cleared on it thanks to fees etc.  Let's be generous and say it was worth $1000 more in my pocket for each year I owned the place, ignoring the 10s of thousands of dollars that were put into siding, fence, new windows, adding a front porch, a new kitchen in the apartment, etc.

Because of the little one I wasn't sure how my taxes would look this year, so I continued at the same pre-baby pace for withholdings knowing full well I was giving the government an interest free loan.  My quick calculations and the initial numbers at the tax office were about the same, I was looking at $7500ish coming back.  Well if everything is right, she told me the capital gains will eat up most of it.

Seriously, how is 28% of what I "made" on the WHOLE house (not just the rental portion) what you want from me?  That simply cannot be.  She has the whole list of everything I did there at the house (and apartment) through the years (as was provided to the real estate agent when I listed it) and it feels like none of it 'counts' to help me out.  I did come up with a few other things, but I'm not sure if they can help me either since they were done in 2016 to ready the house (like the unexpected need to rerun the sewer from the apartment, deal w/ the critter issue, or the apartment furnace going out).

I'm ill about it.  I wanted to put some money back into my slush fund after all of the work I did around the house here last year.  I wanted to throw another mortgage payment or something out there to scoot further ahead.  I justified my living room furniture purchase with this planned influx.  But most of all I wanted to take what I instantly get back for having the baby here and put it into her savings.

Previous year's tax consultants and my real estate agent made it sound like it wouldn't be anywhere near this bad, so I'm really hoping we're missing that whole "the apartment is only 1/3 of the property" thing.  I don't want $2500 stolen from me either, but it's better than $7500.  People that buy up rental properties - do they not get hosed when they want out?  What about if they pass away?  Is the estate raped too?

Dear Government, taxation is theft.  We never really own our home, which is bull.  You f those of us that work hard at every turn and hand over what you've stolen from us to people who are often too lazy to work for themselves. Do not mistake this for charity.  Charity is never given at the end of a sword.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I had the heat turned off for almost 36 hours, but I had to turn it back on last night as our temps quickly dropped again.  We're in the 30s today, normal I guess.  The rain rolled in over night, which is scary considering how water logged everything already is.

I booked a chiropractor appointment yesterday afternoon in the hopes that getting back into alignment (now that I have the replaced box springs) is what I needed to feel better again in the morning.  I do feel like I slept decently, but I'm still a little tender today from the adjustment.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.  Since I was already out and had some time before I had to pick up kiddo I crossed a few other things off of my to do list.  I have a fresh tank of gas for the grill, which is awesome because on our walk the other day I could smell the grills going and it was killing me.  I hit the post office to drop something there.  I ran into DG and got a couple of deals in there.  But most importantly, I hit the liquor store.  My sister and I finished the whipped vodka that was here, so I needed to get more.  I don't think I had any captain left in what got moved last year, so another bottle of that was acquired, along with some rum chata and "moonshine cherries".

The next furniture I'm eager to purchase/replace are end tables in the living room (prb won't get another coffee table until Avery is older) and a side table for use in the dining room.  I know this seems like a random follow up to the next paragraph, but I assure you it isn't.  I lost my storage space for bottles from the last house and I miss it.  I'm thinking if I get the right side table with doors/storage I can place bottles in there.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Not only did we go for a walk after we got home, but we also sat on the deck for a few minutes.  I love the nicer temperatures so much.  Dear Mother Nature, if for no other reason than to spite the Groundhog, please keep it like this forever so my little one and I can get out with short sleeves and absorb some vitamin D.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

70.  The thermometer hit 70 yesterday.  Of course, I looked and it appeared that Jtown was 20 degrees behind.  I'm loving it here.

I had to take advantage of that weather coinciding with a day off of work for the holiday, so Avery and I went shopping including the outlets (open air).  If it's still so pleasant this evening maybe we need to go for a walk too.

Today it was to 67 by 10am.  I opened a window and the fresh air is delightful.  EDIT:  at 3:45pm, it's 77 degrees out there.  Oh yes, bring on the global warming.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

I neglected to mention that I saw my first robin... actually a whole crew of about 12 of them on Friday (Feb 16).  I saw two more this morning.  I know I know, they don't actually leave, but in my heart it makes it feel like spring is near and I love seeing them and looking back to see when I spotted them first in years past.  I think it's safe to say this is the first mid-Feb spotting, most were in the middle of March.