Don’t say anything at all.
That’s pretty much why I haven’t been posting lately. My goal to remain positive this year has been a challenge to say the least.
But I’ll at least start with the positives –
I’m on the launch committee for the Women’s Club of CarolineCounty. It has been a HUGE success! People are really excited about it and I’m happy to be a part of such a fabulous group of ladies.
I am also on the committee for the Mardi Gras Masqued Ball. Last year I helped out with the event, but nowhere near the extent that I have this year. We’ve made a lot of changes to the event this year and if it’s continued, I’m thinking that we will probably make more changes next year. It has been a lot more work than I was anticipating. Hence the changes for next year!
I’ve been inspired by Kelly at Miss MP Blogs in her weight loss journey. I’m going on a diet next week. I had been good with exercising and tracking food, but between my stupid toe (more on that later), stress, having crap in the house and everything else... well, it hasn’t been good for my waistline. So I’ll use Lent as my excuse to diet. I haven’t decided if I’m doing South Beach or Atkins, but my plan is to go low/no carb for at least a month. This means no drinking, which will be a challenge for me. I love wine. We are also having a chocolate and wine tasting at the end of the month for Women’s Club. I haven’t decided if I’m going to cheat, but it is tempting.
Things are moving along with our trip to Australia and New Zealand. I’ve been looking into all of the fun things I want to do in Australia. I can't wait to visit my Aunt Nancy first and foremost! Then cuddle a koala , visit the Whitsunday Islands, and snorkel the Great Barrier reef. Of course I would really love to dive with a huge crocodile, but getting to Darwin will require too much travel for our limited time. In New Zealand, we're planning to visit Hobbiton , visit the Waitomo Caves, and simply walk into Mordor. We haven’t booked our flights yet, but are planning to do so soon.
Now on to the not so positive:
My stupid ingrown toenail. It keeps getting infected and has been the bane of my existence since mid-November. I’ve been on four different antibiotics (two simultaneously for the past week) and a revision where they went back in and dug out the crud. I haven’t been able to wear decent shoes in forever! The double antibiotics seem to finally be working. It appears to finally be healing!
My mother. Her issues are making me crazy. Suffice it to say that we do not have a normal relationship, but more like I am the parent and she is the child. She is looking for someone to rescue her and I am done with being her emotional and financial life raft.
My in-laws. They also have issues. They were staying with us because they were kicked out of their house (for good reason). We had to boot them out of ours last weekend because of something they were warned not to do. Certain behavior will not be tolerated nor enabled in our house. They slunk down to Florida (after we paid for them to get down there), where my father-in-law lied to his brother and said that they had to leave because of “difficulties with Lauren.” Um, yeah. You now DO have “difficulties” with me, jerk. They stayed with us for eleven days after saying they would only be here for a “day or two.” We bought them food and sheltered them and they repaid us with lies and deceit. Not making that mistake ever again.
Work. It has been busy and frustrating lately. One of my coworkers stirred up unnecessary drama which caused me to have a complete meltdown a few weeks ago. Our locums providers (essentially temp doctors) that are supposed to be helping us out are instead causing huge headaches with the schedule. And as usual, many people take out their frustrations on me.
Death. I'm sad to report that a wonderful person is gone from this world. Karisa died a little over a month ago and left a big hole in our community. We thought that we would have more time with her. Spread the word about Karisafication. In honor of Karisa and Stacey, and for many others whose lives have been impacted by cancer, I am participating in a cancer prevention study.
And taxes. It turns out that DC didn't withhold enough taxes from Jay’s paycheck. If my calculations are correct, we are going to owe taxes. Possibly a substantial amount of taxes, which might mean a tax penalty in addition to what we owe. Jay is always telling me how much $$ all of his buddies at work get in tax refunds. I would LOVE to see their returns to crunch the real numbers. In all likelihood, they’re either claiming 0 on their W-4 or they’re tax cheats. Jay is always telling me about something new that we can write off. I really don’t see how we have enough tax deductible expenses to amount to the $11,900 standard deduction (for married filing jointly). Yes, we can write off our dry cleaning expenses for your uniforms… that’s what - $200 maximum a year? If that? Phone usage – even if you can prove it legally, that’s about $1644 a year. Honestly I do use my phone more for work and charitable reasons than pretty much anything else lately. And yes, we do make charitable contributions, but not anything too crazy. And I could technically write off my trip to NYC for my VGIF board meeting in October. However, back to the firefighter write-offs. The big problem for most tax professionals is the meal fund. Some firefighters will use the per diem meal rate as a deduction. In DC the amount is $71 a day and would amount to almost $6,500 a year. To me, it screams “PLEASE AUDIT ME!!” Legally, you may be able to deduct some meal expenses, but not the $6,500 variety. If we had receipts for those meals, I would be more inclined to do it. But in reality, the amount ends up being $1,000 a year. Not worth the audit, IMO.
My girls. We are down two chickens and I have no idea what happened to them. One (Maeve) went missing a few weeks ago and the other (Lily) went missing this week. We’ve cased the neighborhood with no luck. So now we have seven hens and that jerk of a rooster, Mouse.
I also really suck at writing thank you notes. My cousin Emily sent me a crafty and thoughtful Christmas gift and I have yet to send her a thank you card. And my girlfriend Angela gifted us the coolest freaking chicken print that I can’t wait to hang up. Once it’s in place I need to take a photo. And send a thank you card.
So there's your lengthy catch-up. Here's to hoping the next update is far more positive!!