Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Taxes, AARRGHGHGHGHGGH

It's been interesting around here.

We ended up with more than two feet of snow on the ground this weekend -- about 2 1/2 feet, I'd guess. (Daughter #2, who lives up in the mountains, got closer to 3-4 feet. And her partner spent both nights plowing and shoveling, poor guy.) Church was cancelled today -- which was wonderful, since we were supposed to start practicing at 7:30 a.m. Church was cancelled today -- which was frustrating, because the Brick (and others on Worship Team, we found out) had to get up extra early to shovel out the sidewalk and the car. 
     The Elders didn't cancel until nearly 7 a.m....which meant we all had to be up and around anyways, in case they didn't. 
     No sleeping in. 
    The Brick stamped in, all snowy from shoveling, and wanted breakfast. Some French toast, a cup of coffee...then we went back to bed for a blissful couple hours. Ha.

     It made a nice change from wrestling with taxes, especially because TurboTax and other tax prep software don't know what to make of a business like mine. It puzzles the heck out of them; they are forever asking odd questions. Being the engineer type (obsessive and primary attention to detail -- you NEVER leave anything unanswered), the Brick then demands answers to those strange questions! And THAT leads to the tendency for mutual snarling at each other. 
     Bits of paper with scribbled lists and totals -- things we have to double-check online (thank God the power never went out) -- every receipt and notice we could find for last year. And they're all piled higgledy-piggledy on the table, with both laptops going full blast. (Him typing, me fuming.)
     Surely we can't be the only ones struggling with this. And if you multiply our frustration by umpteen bazillion Americans... I wouldn't be surprised at all if the murder rate skyrockets during times like this. 

I love the Brick dearly, but right now, he's driving me NUTS. The bad part: I suspect he feels the same way. It's 2:30 a.m., and he is sighing and throwing himself back in his chair.
      Thank God this is almost over. 

Five stupid mistakes well-meaning (hopefully) charities made. (From

VERY cool wedding ideas. Frugal -- but they don't look it!  (From Apartment Therapy)
     P.S. These would be great for dinner parties and barbecues, too.

How to look even better in photos -- thanks to how you hold your jaw, and squinching! (From photographer Peter Hurley, and Petapixel.)

The best pizza dough ever...according to 101 Cookbooks. It's a little complicated, but worth trying.

Would-be burglars get a remote message from the homeowner watching them... and take off! (Unfortunately, the large dogs in the home sniff them and walk away -- Charley would probably have invited them in for a beer.)

From the DBBF (dusty blog back files):  A dozen frugal cookbooks you've never heard of (or not much) -- plus two.  From yours truly.

Low-cost, easy to keep up with flowerbeds: how to make them, how to maintain them. (From Funky Junk Interiors)

13 ways to use ground beef.  Tasty -- yes. Unusual -- no. (They're billing them as unusual...but I don't think so. From Betty Crocker)

Mexican Beef Tater Tot™ Pie

Phenomenal Gems just celebrated its second birthday. This Etsy shop is owned by Daughter #2, who has done beautifully. And it has beautiful stones! Go take a look...

Eleven frightening toys from way back. Including my own favorite, Chatty Cathy. I begged and pleaded for her -- but she ended up stuck in a haybale in the barn. By the time I found her again, her face was stained, and she'd rusted. (ewww)

Thirty tips for traveling cheaper in Europe. And elsewhere, for that matter. (From Have Blog Will Travel)

Per diem rates for business travel, listed by state. At least in the government's opinion -- I don't usually get this much, based on what they're stating for my area.

Need bookcases...and a bed? Get space for both!  (From IKEA Hackers)

When you're cutting back, don't give away the store. (From Surviving and Thriving)

A large Caravaggio painting (they think) found in an attic...all because the French homeowners had a leaky roof and needed to fix it. Estimated value:  about $100 million.

Lots of tax-related goodies -- including scams and misrepresentations -- on the rich and famous.
In keeping with that:

Some interesting celebrity quotes about moneyMy favorite, from Paris Hilton:
     "What's Wal-Mart? Do they, like, sell wall stuff?" 

By the way, don't miss out on tax day discounts -- plenty of good stuff available today. That includes a free Blooming Onion from Outback today (Mon) only -- just tell your server "Blooming Monday." Some good taxtime freebies and discounts at the end of this post.

Brunch ideas for Mother's Day. A lot of these center on pancakes and baked goodies, but also include winner like the Bellinis pictured here.   (From Who Needs A Cape)

Strawberry Bellini

The master hack list -- 100 ways to customize IKEA products for your needs. (From Apartment Therapy)

Consider - you might meet failure on the path to success.  What are you going to do, if that happens?  (From Money Beagle)

And finally, from the "Boy, That's Weird" Department:

A sailor is found mummified on a 'ghost ship' sailing under its own steam for years. Shades of  the Mary Celeste -- and others.  (Sorry, no photos -- this was just too creepy.)

Have a great week -- smooch the ones you love.

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