Taxing Day

Some Saturdays are entertaining and filled with fun. Today (for me) wasn’t one of those Saturdays. Attempting to get a head-start on my usual April 15th scramble, I carved out today to get the annual torment completed. And, much as I expected, the tedious exercise took the best part of my day. (Can anyone say Fair Tax or Flat Tax?)taxesNo, I’m not going to moan and complain in this space. I probably couldn’t because after spending the day with my eyes glued to a computer screen and to a variety of small-print tax forms and instruction booklets, my brain is fried anyway.

Besides, it’s National Poetry Month! Would I really allow myself to be driven into the doldrums by taxes when they’re not the only game in town? Continue reading “Taxing Day”

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The Boon of Free College

8965Life just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

First, we were graced with “free” (or at least “affordable“) health care. The nuts and bolts of that plan have yet to fully fall into place, but when you file your income tax return (by April 15th, presumably), you’ll be queried (in depth) about what you’ve paid for your family’s health care.

If you file a 1040EZ, the question appears on Line 11; if you’ve got a more involved return, you won’t see questions about health care until Line 61 (on the 1040) … and then you’ll be instructed to complete a new form (8965) which includes twelve pages of instructions to guide you through the muck!

I know! I know! Taxes are impossibly boring! Isn’t that the reason we have accountants? Everyone needs a nerdy numbers guy to guide us through the maze of – what is it now? – almost 74,000 pages of federal tax law.

So let’s get to the good stuff, right? The free stuff … the good news – that really GOOD NEWS! – of being able to receive a top-notch education thanks to our government shifting those tuition costs onto itself (and partially to the states)! Continue reading “The Boon of Free College”

Cultivate Generosity

Maybe it’s slightly redundant to talk about generosity within hours of our Christmas celebration. I mean this is the season when absolutely everyone goes out of their way to give cheerfully, right? The red kettles get stocked (as it were) for the coming year. Charities receive significant donations before year’s end.

SantasFactoryPerhaps you’re familiar with the Bible passage that quotes Jesus telling his followers:  “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” In this particular passage, the Apostle Paul speaks of the moral imperative to help the weak. The blessings of Christmas are best when shared and whether it’s helping at a soup kitchen or delivering a meal to a shut-in, our generosity tends to return to us as a greater blessing. Continue reading “Cultivate Generosity”

The Vilification of They

The message often starts out with an urgent statement: You Need To See This Now! In one form or another, the information that follows urges you to consider special, often proprietary, information they’re anxious to reveal to you … for a price of course … IF you respond NOW. Don’t wait, drop what you’re doing, get it now!

Because this offer isn’t going to last … Really, this is the last day or last week. So don’t miss your chance for the best value!!!!

urgent

During the virtual strong-arm pitch, there’s often a veiled (or in other cases quite direct) reference to an unnamed but nefarious enemy ‒ the ubiquitous faceless They ‒ an entity who’s on the trail to have “this video” taken down. Don’t let this happen! Watch the video now BEFORE THEY MAKE ME TAKE IT DOWN.immediately

Know what I’m talking about? The videos might be “investment” pitches or work-at-home “opportunities” or even an individual selling a self-published book or supposedly a one-of-a-kind “health and fitness” routine … to name a few I’ve run across. The purveyors play on your fear of missing out … or having to pay triple after the offer expires. They don’t let you take time for due consideration. It has to be NOW … and if you don’t believe them, don’t be surprised when you come back tomorrow and the video’s gone … because THEY MADE ME TAKE IT DOWN!
Continue reading “The Vilification of They”

H(Abby) Birthday Biscuit!

MandyAbbyOne of the most creative people I know, my younger daughter Abby, is having a birthday tomorrow. (She’s quite a bit older now than the picture to the left that was taken on her sixth birthday.)

Along with other nudges back in 2010 (see my initial post of explanation here), Abby urged me to take up blogging. She’d been blogging for a year at that point, and has now returned to the distraction of blogging (at least for now). I say distraction because with three very busy young children, other things beside blogging understandably top her priority list.

Abby’s most recent blog post entitled Manna From Down South is worthy of mention here. The post just prior to Manna is titled I Am A Crap Photographer. In my view, she’s being entirely too modest and self-critical, for when my eyes beheld the photo at the top of the Manna post, my taste buds responded as one would expect when food is set directly in front of you! I yearned for immediate gratification! Look at the picture for yourself and see if you agree. Don’t those biscuits look tempting?!

To borrow and rework a phrase from well-known Peanuts author Charles Schulz, Happiness is a Warm Biscuit!

My daughter is a woman who seeks culinary excellence and has the persistence to stick to a goal until she’s satisfied she’s created a winner. The bonus in her post is you’ll actually be able to enjoy creating this delight yourself, based on the free recipe she’s sharing!

If you read through the Manna post, you’ll notice an oblique reference to me … yep, I’m the one who served her (and her siblings in their growing-up years) “… canned or baking-mix biscuits.” I had no idea the suffering I caused my offspring to endure! (<— sarc) Continue reading “H(Abby) Birthday Biscuit!”

Giveaway Winner Announcement

Thanks to those who entered your names for our book giveaway. The winner’s name was drawn early this morning. The giveaway prize, if you remember, was a copy of the book on the left.

Congratulations to Nancy at ______@aol.com for winning this giveaway. Actually, I will be sending Nancy two copies (one to fill out and one to give away) of A BOOK ABOUT ME within the next two days.

I also will be sending two copies of the book to One Thrifty Gurl for her to give away in one of her upcoming giveaway events. OTG graciously included notice of my giveaway on her blog. Thanks!

Now, if you’re wishing your name had been drawn, we will be scheduling future giveaways. If you don’t want to wait for the next giveaway, copies of the book are easily purchased. Print this order form, complete it and mail (with remittance) to the address at the bottom of the order form.

Or, if you’d rather download the form before printing, here’s the download link.

Thanks for your entries, and we look forward to more giveaways in the future.

Fifteen Minutes A Day

Who among us wouldn’t be happy about shedding a few pounds?

I don’t even have a scale, but I’m aware when my clothing feels more snug than normal. So, having partaken of many holiday goodies over the last couple months, I’ve been working the elliptical with added intensity and motivation.

Now comes a joint study released by Stanford University and Renford University (see more details in this article). The study reveals … (drum roll, please!) the secret of weight loss! The authors focused on 45 undergrad female students divided into two groups. Continue reading “Fifteen Minutes A Day”