• 15 minute posts,  heavy on photos,  Shop Talk,  Slow News Day

    Tax Prep Dun. Now the worrying…


    I spent the day yesterday preparing to file my taxes. I hate this time of year so much. I don’t use any spreadsheets to track my income and out-going expenses so that means I have to sit down with my calculator and the tower of Pisa pile of receipts and add each one up by hand. This is a whole lot of fun for someone who claims to have Dyscalculia. Several times I had to take a break and tell myself over and over, You’re college educated. You can do this. and then practice breathing exercises for five minutes in the bathroom.


    Every year I vow to start using ibank or quicken or some other program but every time I try to set up accounts I get so overwhelmed with all the tabs and buttons and possibilities I just end up giving up. I swear I’m going to do it this year though because there has to be a better way.

    tax prep a years worth of income tracking

    The only thing I have going for me is that I do like to be organized. I save everything and file it all away neatly like a squirrel. So that helps. I hope all my neatly typed reports get me points with the tax man because I think otherwise I’m going to be one big fat headache for him. Filing separately from Toby is causing a whole bunch of problems, naturally. I closed all of our joint accounts so now I can no longer access my handy dandy online tracking systems (which were really great when I needed to see what checks I deposited etc… I love that check image feature.)

    Then there’s the whole what-can-I-write-off dilemma. Can I write off all the parties I organize? Does blogging it count as business? Party planning posts do generate a lot of traffic on this site but I’m thinking the IRS is not going to go for it. I’m thinking a bounce house is right up there with hiring strippers when it comes to red flags.

    tax sketches

    Of course all this busy work generated some sketches. I figure I’m ready if anyone ever needs to hire me to create some stock art of tax season.

    old puncher 2nd book down 1 to go!

    In other 50mm news, how cool is that old hole-puncher my Aunt gave me? Her office mate moved out and left a bunch of stuff. Most of it was awful 80’s crap but this hole-puncher seemed like a keeper for me. It worked great for all my notebook organizing yesterday. The holes are extra big which is kind of neat.

    I also finished the 2nd Stieg Larsson book. I know I’m late to that book-reading party. I’m really enjoying them though. Right after I finish each book I watch the movie on Netflicks and that’s super fun. Of course I have to watch these in secret from Bug when she is asleep though because they are NOT appropriate for children. Oh my goodness, some of the scenes are not even appropriate for me. But I do love the characters so I keep on watching, not even noticing that I’m reading subtitles. I have to say I’m a little disappointed in the 2nd movie though (I’m half way through it). They left out so many details! I guess that’s why you read the books first!

    movie night for a sick kid

    Bug got to have her own movie night last night. She really wanted to eat popcorn in bed and turn all the lights out “just like a movie theatre” but I refused. I do not like popcorn bits in my sheets! So I set her up with a beverage bar (she’s caught my cold now too and I wanted her to be hydrated) and popcorn and put my laptop far enough away that it wouldn’t be ruined if she spilled. I know Toby is probably looking at that last picture and hyperventilating over the possibility that some beverages might ruin the laptop that he paid so much money for but I am here to say that it was perfectly safe and now it’s back on my desk far far away from any evil liquids of death.

    And that was my day! Now I just sit tight and wait until my tax appointment on Friday to see how much I owe the IRS. Or maybe I’ll get money back. I’m not getting my hopes up.

  • 15 minute posts,  Bug,  crazy stuff,  domesticity,  easy on the words,  house stuff!,  place holder posts,  Slow News Day,  the sticks

    boring Tuesday in the life of

    a storm of tissues

    Life is quiet out here in the sticks outside of my incessant sneezing. The cold rages on as you can see. Thankfully even wadded up used tissues look better with a 50mm lens.

    new winter-time bed arrangement

    In other news, I rearranged my bedroom. Huzzah! I love it that I can rearrange furniture whenever I please. This new arrangement is not for beauty or any kind of bren* shui though. It’s purely because I got tired of the drafts from the window wafting down on me in the night. It gets cold out here at night!

    My little Parisian Apartment (cough cough)

    I think I’ll move the bed back under the window in the summer because then drafts are quite nice. For now though this is much cozier and it only hampers our path to the bathroom by a few steps. We don’t use that bathroom much anyway so it’s no big deal to have to walk all the way around the bed to get to it. In Bug and Holly’s case, you can just lumber right over the top of the bed and save yourself five steps.

    new winter-time bed arrangement

    Since we’re doing a “home tour” I might as well show you Bug’s fairies. She draws them (with some help from me) and then tapes them around the house. Look right below the red poppies painting and you’ll see this little guy:

    the Brenda Fairy

    I think this is me as a “mom fairy.” She watches over me when I sleep or maybe this is just here so I know where my bed is. Who knows. If you give your kid paper and things to draw with and access to scissors and tape, you never know what you are going to find randomly taped around the house. Right now as I type this, I see there is a colorful Easter egg taped to the living room window. She’s very proactive with her seasonal decorating.

    Holly has a fairy too but it was too dark when I took that photo and it was too blurry. (You can see it in the window shot, just really really small. That’s where Holly’s dog bed usually is.)

    Bug's Bulletin Board

    This is Bug’s fairy. I drew this one (per her instruction) and she colored it.

    Maybe she needs more shoes...

    While I’m in Bug’s room I might as well show you her giant shoe collection. Do you think this kid has enough shoes? (Most of them are hand-me-downs or gifts.) You’d think she does but there is aways some outfit that doesn’t match with any of these. Good thing kid-fashion is pretty carefree. She wears the craziest combos and nobody even blinks an eye anymore. I think she also has a giant shoe collection because her feet never grow. She’s been a size 7/8 for a whole year now. She’s just like me with tiny feet.

    Also, the vacuum cleaner lives in her closet. I do feel a bit bad about that but there is no room anywhere else and it’s almost like that shelf was built just for vacuum cleaners. Thankfully Bug doesn’t know any better and thinks it’s totally normal to have a vacuum cleaner in your closet.

    official rock concert papers

    These are some very important rock star concert documents. Can’t you tell? The one on the right is a contract that I had to sign and on the left is some sheet music I presume. Bug made this really long movie describing them all and what they are for, (the card is for zoom-zooming in the zoom zoom machine) but then after she was done and I was watching the movie, I noticed my shirt was gaping wide open sideways showing some armpit/boob action so I deleted that movie. Sorry Bug. I’ll have to have her do it again. It was all very funny of course as most doomed things are.

    Fairy Breakfast

    And that concludes my boring Tuesday in the life of Brenda post!

    *Bren shui is my own form of feng shui that has no system of aesthetics other than my gut feeling of where things should be.

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