Archive for March, 2009

As you all know (What?  You don’t?  Well, you should.)  I just love Margaret and Helen.  Their “Tell it like it is, with humor.” blog got me through the election.  And, when my life here at home gets a bit tough, like getting a $1,200 power bill or, like yesterday, when I opened the one piece of mail, late at night (Tell, me why I even bother?) and that mail was from the Indiana Department of Revenue.



When I opened my studio I got a tax idea and somehow, thought I needed to have a Taxpayer TID number for paying employees.  I do not have employees.  The studio is so piled up with junk right now that an employee couldn’t get through IF I had one, which I don’t.



So, this year when I sent in my multitude of forms, which I never quite have understood, I decided that enough was enough.  I had already closed the studio to public view, taken down my sign, pulled my rack cards from town and alerted my Township Tax accessor that I was not working right now so I was “sort-of” closing the studio.



Okay, I can see where the “sort-of” confused them.  But, I unequivocally put in there that I had no employees, I had no State and County taxes withheld on my non-existent employees and I really want them to stop sending me the forms which confuse the %$@$ out of me.  Husband said they are drawn up by lawyers who are wanting to get the work when you cannot understand the forms. 



So, last night, I get this envelope informing me that I now owe $5,410.00 plus $541.00 in Penalty and $90.27 in interest for the taxes on employees I do not have. 



You know, this mail thing started with a $500 DirecTv bill and has gone up steadily ever since and I really need to learn not to open mail except during business hours because I do not get enough sleep already and having it run through my head all night, what kind of fight I am going to have in the morning, is not helping.



The man on the phone this morning was very nice.  I told him I want to keep my Sales Tax ID and my checking account because I have dreams of working again and he said to fill out this form BC-100, have it notarized and send it in.



“Okay, then what do I do about this $6,041.27 bill?”



“Oh, just write a letter of protest and tell them you do not have employees.” 



“But, where did they get that figure from?  Why charge me?”



“That was just because you did not send the right form in.”



That sound you hear is me banging my head against my desk. 



There again, I see little bored people, in cubicles, saying, “Hey, Mildred, wanna have some fun?”


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Today, I have a bruise.  No, that is not a joy of aging, that is a natural result of being clumsy, and it is an integral part of our story for today. 


Before my mother moved into an apartment, she stayed with us in our finished walk-out downstairs.  I don’t like to admit my mother lived in the basement, so I say downstairs.  It sounds cruel.  However, the first family (no, not the Obamas) the family who built on this property, lived in that basement, as a house the whole time they lived here.  It wasn’t until they sold the property, that the next owner built an upstairs to the finished walk-out basement. 


While mom was living here, she had her dog (Irritating Little Chihuahua) with her.  Chihuahua weighed about eight pounds at that time and is definitely a lap dog.  She would rather walk on your legs and lap than on the floor.  Now, mom’s skin is getting thin and she is very sensitive to touch and I would constantly hear mom yelling at Chihuahua about stepping on her legs and hurting her.

When mom moved to her apartment, she decided it was best to leave Chihuahua here.


Lesson for today:  

Do not judge another person’s pain until you have walked a mile in their shoes.  Or, in this case, had a 7.2 lb Irritating little Chihuahua walk on your bruises.   

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I hate telephones. Good news is never delivered by telephone. It’s always bad news. Car wrecks in the middle of the night. Your kid did something at school that requires your attendance. And, when someone doesn’t have the guts to face you, they deliver their news by telephone.

Nineteen year old EMT has been coming home less and less. He is, sort-of, an adult at nineteen, even though he has not finished high school. He started late, due to home schooling, so he is set to graduate this May. Now, with less than three months of school to go, he announced, over the phone of course, that he is moving out.

Is he going to move in with a friend and party all weekend? No! Does he have his own pad where he can play loud music and drink all the energy drinks he wants? No! What he has is a family who lives near the Fire Department.

Okay, I know, I should be happy about this. It’s not drugs or alcohol, although I do think he is smoking again. Part of his reasoning is that he will be closer to the action, to respond to calls, and I am pretty sure the other part of his reason is a girl.

Yes, I know, the kid has a job now, and he is almost twenty. But, I would have been a lot happier if he would have waited until graduation. 

I would have been even happier if he would have delivered his news in person, and not over the telephone.

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I am the outcast in a family of game players.


Every Christmas, we travel to Masters Daughter’s house and the male members of the family spend five straight days playing games.  The younger ones extend the days into night by gaming with Play Stations and X Boxes, while the older ones keep it to a loud daytime activity of board games and card games.


Why is it that people have to rehash each and every hand after they play a game of cards?  These are the same children who cannot be bothered to do homework because, after all, they have passed the test and they have listened in class, so why go over it one more time? They would rather lower their grade, than turn in their homework.  But, they think nothing of spending fifteen minutes talking about who had which card, endlessly, all the while dealing out the next hand.


This year it was decided that the Clue game isn’t large enough so Gaffer is on a mission to extend the game to make it larger.  I’m with XUP,Patience Is My Middle Name « XUP and I’m sorry (well, not really) to link to her so often, but geez, how can you resist a line like this:




“Or wanting to pull your own internal organs through your own throat rather than play a board game.”




Confession time:  I do concede to play Dominoes and Cribbage.   My brother, David and I played Cribbage and Chess by the campfire and it is all good memories to me.  I’m so rusty on Chess that I would need a new teacher but I whomped Gaffer at Cribbage the other day and Army Boy and I are trying to figure out how to play Cribbage between Indiana and Kuwait. 


As far as dominoes:  It is a quick game.  Nobody rehashes what numbers they had for fifteen minutes and the dominoes themselves are very tactile.

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I grew up in a “women don’t sweat” type of family.  My dad did not watch sports on television and neither did my brother.  The closest we got to physical activity was once, my brother and I, played badminton.  We did not go to the beach.  We would do a ‘walk’ on our vacation. It certainly wasn’t a hike. I was hardly allowed to ride my bike because I might get hit by a car.  Mom was a bit overprotective, but, then again, I never got hit by a car. 


I was last picked to play ball and I hated gym, so when I started the Body for Life program, I was thoroughly amazed at how good it felt to lift weights.  Me, can’t hit a ball with a stick, me and I love weight lifting. 


I had worked hard for nine months, alternating weight lifting and the treadmill, in 2005, and I lost (drumroll please) not one ounce; muscles weigh more than fat.  I did lose two dress sizes however, and I felt better than I ever felt: weak ankles, gone; floating knee caps, gone; weak arms, gone; aching back, gone.  I could throw around clay with the best of them.  I was strong and I knew I would never be weak again.


The main reason I had gotten into this is that I was watching my mother deteriorate and I said, to myself, that I was not going to go down that road.  That road included weakness, illness, resting to walk down a hall and instability, and I was strong.


In 2005, there were no commercials on television telling a woman that one reason she is tired could be her heart.  I could have been the poster ‘woman’ for that commercial.  I woke up one morning so exhausted I couldn’t lift weights, or run.  Just overnight, I was exhausted.  I could barely walk, and over the next two years, I got so bad that I could not make it to open the door for irritating Chihuahua to go outside. 


“Why didn’t you go to the doctor, you ask.”  I did.  I didn’t have insurance though so the A.N.P. (some type of nursing practitioner) that I got to see checked my thyroid four times over the next two years and told me I was “just under stress.”  Of course, she never even hinted at a treatment for the “just stress” that was slowly killing me. 


Then, the doctor’s office called me in and told me not to return for three months because I was “just under stress.”  There’s a lot more to the story, like blood pressure being twenty points different in each arm and a cardiologist who was pretty sure he knew what was wrong but his hands were tied by the corporation he worked for.  So, when they told me not to return to their office, I came home and announced, “They have sent me home to die.”


Then, on the internet, I found the wonderful people of St. Francis hospital.  I went into their free cardiac clinic and two hours later was seeing a cardiologist, who scheduled me for a cardiac catherization.  It took a total of seven days before I was having emergency open heart surgery.  I had a spasming artery to my heart (could it have been caused by stress?  Possibly)  I also had 70% blockage, but they said that could have waited.


When you don’t have insurance, you do not have rehabilitation.  So, it has taken me two years but, as a birthday present for myself, I finally felt strong enough to start Body for Life again. 


I recently read some negative things about this program, but I am here to tell you there is no pressure.  There is no one saying, “you can’t get anywhere, if you don’t use forty pound weights.”  Just the opposite, is the case.  I am starting off with two pound weights and actually I have also had to modify the program for now.  Last time, I did all the reps right from the beginning.  I have to listen to my body, so that I have the energy to do other things.  It is a great program and I love it. 


I am literally using two pounds on the upper body and one set of reps.  I went up to three pounds a couple of weeks ago and my rib cage hurt so much that I went back down. I am also eating smaller portions and healthier food.  It all goes hand in hand, folks. 


Since February 2, I have lost eleven pounds, and I’m loving that part too.  I’m sweating and I’m loving it all.

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My father was born to believe everything anyone ever told him.  Providing they were either Rush Limbaugh or Jack VanImpe.  So, I had to get a big kick out of Margaret and Helen‘s latest Blog on good ole’ Rush Limbaugh. 


My father also thought the sky was falling.  Actually, he invented that saying, it was not chicken little at all.  My father heard that someone had been broken into.  Our house was immediately locked tight with a sign on the front door that said, “Security by XYZ.”  Of course, the sign was fake.


He also had a sticker on the back of his car.  It said he was a “proud supporter of the Baxter County Sheriff’s Department.”  He always told us that sticker kept him from getting tickets.  That was before he was ticketed for speeding.  To be totally fair, he was not in Baxter County at the time.


Dad would ask me if I would do him a favor.  He knew I would never say no to that, so that’s how he would con me into watching either VanImpe or Limbaugh. 


All of which, just goes to show, I really was stolen from the Gypsies when I was little.  Because, I am as pleased as can be to have Obama for my President and my poor dad is probably turning over in his grave right now.

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I picked up some items to send grandson, Army Guy, who has shipped overseas now.  One thing, I remembered as being recommended for these packages is microwave popcorn.  I got him some packs of regular and of Kettle Korn by Orville Redenbacher.


I am proud to say that I am sending my grandson only 100% Whole Grain Popcorn.  No, don’t go back and read that, as I had to do.  That is the top line on the box.   


What I want to know is:  When is popcorn, microwave or regular, is NOT 100% Whole Grain?  Do they have popcorn they are making out of Styrofoam pellets, or Candy Korn? 


Actually, I cooked a package of the Kettle Korn, and guess what?  I think it is made of Styrofoam pellets.  False advertising there, I will tell you.  100% Whole grain my foot.


I have ended up with probably two boxes worth so I did not send him the fortune cookies, but I did send him four plastic ping pong guns.  I had to think about this.  If he were in a fighting zone, I might not have sent them, but he is somewhere behind a computer redirecting convoys, so maybe they can surprise attack the guys returning from the bathroom or something.


Actually, daughter and I, are trying to find fun things to throw in these packages.  You know, something to occupy their time, after work.  He says he pretty much works, then works out at like 2am and then sleeps.  This time I made some cookies, sent a lot of single servings of stuff like peanuts and such, sent him a sketch book, and a wind up chicken for Easter. 


I’m saving the fortune cookies for next time. 

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