Unexpected purchase: two new tires

And boy am I incensed. Not because I had to buy two new tires, but because the reason I had to buy two new tires NOW, and not months ago. When we SHOULD have.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking about setting some goals

Over the weekend I came across a site that led me to pick up another domain and set up a couple more blogs, to try a different avenue to earn some extra money, hopefully, once things get rolling on the blogs.  One blog will be a review site for video games on all consoles, hopefully written by my husband and his best friend, and occasionally some posts by me as well.  The other blog will be reviews about the safety of products geared toward babies and toddlers.

Read the rest of this entry »

A piece of the puzzle – part of Obama’s economic plan

I would like to try to make an informed decision when it comes time to vote for the next Prez this November, so being a good little voter, I am taking a few minutes to peruse some of the key issues at Obama’s campaign website.

I’m still a little undecided about the various tax cuts or increases discussed for the various income classes, but there is one thing targeting the middle class that really caught my eye:

Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans: Obama and Biden will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes….

I’m going to refrain from jumping to conclusions about this until I learn more about it.  They claim they would make the IRS use information that is already in the hands of the banks & employers and offer a pre-filled in form that people would simply have to verify, sign & turn in.

Would this include things like the options to write off various things like mortgage interest, business write-offs, and any other kind of item or cost that could be written off by an individual or small business owner?   What about the tax credits for alternate fuel vehicles, and other money saving, fuel-saving things like solar panel installations?

For the mortgage interest, I would have to hope that because those are usually owned by banks, that this would be one of those things that the IRS would already need to have on file.  But what about other write-offs that aren’t “owned” by any banks?  How would that figure into this “quick and easy” tax form?  Many people depend on these write-offs to get the most of their tax refunds, or to lessen the amount they would otherwise have to cough up and PAY if they happen to owe more taxes than they put in.  If this reform of the tax form (ha ha) would end up stripping these line items of even being an option, what this would really do is cause people to end up paying MORE.  So those neat little tax cuts he touts would only maybe bring some people back to the level they were at before the changes, and how exactly is this a benefit to anyone??

And on this same item it says they want to save people the cost of tax preparation fees.  Ahem.  Last time I checked, those fees are almost completely eligible to be written off the following year.  Pray tell WHY this type of elmination would be a benefit?  Not to mention all of those tax-preparers and accountants that would be out of work as a result of this simplified tax form??  It is apparent to me that someone really isn’t thinking through all of the potential repercussions of this were to happen.

Quite frankly, in my household, we use TurboTax to prepare our taxes.  It asks all of the questions, including anything regarding any eligible credits or write-offs, and costs between $50-$90 depending on the options one may or may not need when they file.  After paying the fee to e-file, we’re looking at less than $100 spent to file our taxes, which we can then claim most of it on the following year (if we remember, often we forget to do so).  We have no problems filing our taxes with this software, and really see no need for a simpler form. If he gets elected, and actually is able to follow through with this, then they darn well better make the revised form OPTIONAL, and let people who still want to file the old way, do so if they so wish. 


There is still a lot more to read up on, but as I said this just caught my eye and with the vagueness about how exactly it would impact all of the options currently available to tax payers, it’s making me a little uneasy.  If it is ultimately going to hit me in the pocketbook, I’m not going to jump on that wagon, no way no how.

Last chance!

This is the last day of my first Friday Jewelry Feature special, the $10 off of my Breast Cancer Awareness bracelets.  I am pretty sure the coupon will work until midnight tonight, but if you try it and have problems using it, please let me know and I’ll move the date to tomorrow.

After today, only my newest feature will be running.  I may run this special for the BCA bracelets again sometime in October, in case there was anyone interested in getting one with this special but was not able to do so.  Please comment on this post if you are still interested and want to see it come back in October for another chance at $10 off for these bracelets.  🙂

Sticky: Friday’s Jewelry Feature

— canceled — see most recent STICKY post for details.

Ok, for this feature, I thought I would offer up a discount on one of the sets that I created.  I am going to choose the “Green Tea” set, with a 20% off coupon.  The coupon code is GREENTEA.


Green Tea set  Green Tea set 

Read the rest of this entry »

Work frustration

I really, really, hate screwing up at work.  And I hate it even more when it’s because of someone else’s previous screw up, which only leads me to add to the damn pile.   GAH!! 

I can just feel my blood pressure rising, and my nerves becoming frazzled.  And if it’s due to someone else’s mistake, then I just plain get pissed off.


I take pride in my work – as boring as it can be at times – and I really hate it when I inadvertantly screw up.

Excuse me… I think I am going to go stomp on something now.

Competitive commercials

While driving home from work yesterday, I heard a commercial by the local phone company, touting their internet (DSL).  They were laying the smack down against their closest competitor, the local cable company.

I swear it sounded like I was listening to the mud-slinging commercials done by political candidates.

They promise this, but how do you know you are really getting that?” and “Only their upper tier customers get that.”

“Sign up for our service and get super fast speeds!”

What cracked me up is the little disclaimer at the end “Not available in all areas”.


Considering I can get our local cable company’s upper tier speeds in my neigbhorhood, but I CANNOT get the phone companies “super fast speeds” in my area, that commercial just really amused me.

Well, that seemed to be a bust

Unless something went horribly wrong with my store, it does not seem that my first Friday Jewelry Feature went well.  There were no purchases. 🙁


I saw a little bit of traffic, but that’s it.  Ah well.  I guess I’ll try something different tomorrow and try again.

There’s still time left on the coupon for thsoe bracelets, though.  I believe it expires tomorrow, so there is still all day today and hopefully all day tomorrow for people to use it if they want to!  And tomorrow I will feature a different piece of jewelry with a new coupon.

I think I may run this one again in October though, since that is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Oh how I LOVE commuting

Can you smell the sarcasm?

As I sat in traffic this morning, by myself and unable to use the HOV lane since my husband is staying home with the Kiddo today, I thought about just how much time I waste with my daily commute, and how I get nothing, except for maybe frustration and a gallon and a half less of gas in my tank, in return, for that time lost.

Sure, it gets me to my day job, which pays the bills.  But I live 45 miles away from work.  That’s at least an hour of driving, IF I carpool with my husband, ONE way.  An hour & a half if I’m by myself and traffic is particularly nasty.  And then we have to repeat it again on the way home.

Trust me.  I really would prefer to live closer to work, especially since it really feels like we’ll be working there for several more years.  But that just isn’t possible right now, not with the real estate market tanking like it is.  We’re not in the position to sell our place and look for something closer.   Let’s just say, bad financing decisions, but not bad enough that we would have to face foreclosure.  So we’re stuck.

Anyway, back to the colossal waste of time that is my commute.  Let’s see… in an hour, I could have done at least one load of laundry.  I could probably have cleaned the kitchen (it’s cluttered, so trust me, it would definitely take at least an hour to do).  I could have worked on – and probably finished – the new design I’m trying to make for this blog.  Maybe not implementing it into WP, but at least the graphics could be finished. I could have posted at least one or two entries here and on my other blog.  I could have even used the time to fiddle with yet another blog I set up at Blogger, just to see how different it is with that software as opposed to WP.

Granted I could not have done all of that in just one hour, but any one of those things could have been done.  But NOOOooo.  We have to live so far away from work I have to waste that time sitting in traffic, thinking about all the other things I could be doing instead.

Someday.  Someday I’ll either be able to spend half an hour or less on the commute, or even not have to commute at all.  Hopefully that someday will come sometime before I turn 60.  LOL

Pool draining – the cheap and slow way

Our pool has evaporated to maybe, oh, half of it’s full capacity (yep, we’ve been really bad about it this year. I think we swam in it twice and gave up on the algae battle).

We need to drain it to put an end to the ‘squito breeding harbor, but we don’t want to spend the money to rent a pump.  We had an idea to try to use the backwash cycle on the pump/filter, but it didn’t work.  I think it’s a combination of – not enough water IN the filter, a non-air tight hose and skimmer, and other miscellaneous hoses that likely have leaks in them from sun damage.  So, scrap that idea.

Then I recalled how my parents used to drain their waterbed when it came time to move – a regular ol’ garden hose!

Yep.  I kick started the process by turning on the water on the hose to get all the air out.  Pushed it as far into the pool as I could and get it to touch the bottom, and placed a rock on the hose to keep it from sliding out (but still allowing water flow).  Then went back to the spigot and turned off the water, and took the hose off as quickly as I could.  Commence draining.

At first I wasn’t sure if it was just the water from the hose draining out, or if it was actually starting to be pool water coming out.  I needed to move the hose out to the gate so the water can go out the front instead of sitting in our back yard (and watering the weeds).  In the process of moving it, I put my hand over the end of the hose and there was definitely pressure on it.  Not a lot, but enough to keep it moving.

I checked it a few minutes ago, and water is still coming out.  And, the water line on the pool has dropped maybe half an inch.  Success!

It may not be fast, but so far it seems to be getting the job done.  Once it is mostly drained, we’ll disassemble the framework of the pool and store it in our garage until someone wants to buy it from us.  I don’t really feel like moving the pump & filter, so we’ll probably get a small tarp to cover it until someone comes to get it.  The pump & filter still work, it just may need some seals and hoses replaced, maybe have a tune up done on the motor to get it in tip-top shape.  And replace the sand in the filter.

Then we’ll have to spread the sand that was under the liner, out over the entire back yard so it’s not in piles where the neighborhood cats can decide that is where they’re going to start taking dumps and stinking up our back yard. There are already a couple that use the leftover pile that is in our side yard that I haven’t been able to spread out completely.  Dumb cats.  My yard is not your litter box!!