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Oh, tax time.  It is that magical time of year when people are firmly divided into two camps:  those who get a return and are excited and those who hate taxes and tax season.   I do taxes as a hobby.  I know, I need to get a new hobby.  I enjoy going through the forms, finding exemptions and credits, lecturing people on how they should not want a big return as it means they are paying out too much in taxes through the year, I absolutely adore all of it.  My dad hates tax time.  My older sister doesn’t care for it as her husband is self-employed and they always have to pay in.  My little sister is okay with tax time but it was sketchy at best for her this year.  My little brother never listens to my tax advice and is happy with getting a return.

What I love most about tax time is all the fallacies that people have about taxes.  If you go to any webpage, Facebook page, twitter account about tax refunds that are not from a reputable source you will be highly amused.  Everyone knows an aunt, a friend of a friend, who works at the IRS and has the skinny.  They all know when returns are issued and how to read the codes in a transcript, and the schedule for tax refunds.  They know people who don’t work who receive huge refunds. They know of people who sell their kids information so that they can make money.   I mean, it boggles the mind.

The reality of the situation is that tax fraud on an individual return are mainly accomplished by hackers who have stolen someone’s identity or are claiming dependents that are not theirs.  It is impossible to receive a tax refund if you haven’t worked.  The income tax refund is based on, and bear with me people, income earned.   I had someone comment that people will fake a 10-99 misc form (independent contractor/self-employed version of a W-2) to be able to get a tax return.   A 10-99 would be hard to fake as the IRS has to have a copy sent to them to verify that the employer has sent them to the employee.  Plus, there are normally not taxes taken out of a 10-99 so you would actually start out the return owing money to the IRS.

Yes, there are people that get large returns back.  These are mostly based on credits such as EIC (Earned Income Credit) and Additional Child Tax Credit.  If you are getting a large return back and do not have these credits, than you are overpaying taxes out of your paychecks throughout the year and that is just fiscally dumb.   Also, if you file long form as opposed to taking the standard deduction, you have to exceed the standard deduction.  This is no easy feat.  You can claim work vehicles that you own, home offices, in some cases uniforms and meals along with tools and equipment.  The rules and forms to claim these and still exceed the standard deduction are hard to get through and easy to mess up on.   I have to explain this to my S.O. every tax season when he forgets that filing long form is only necessary if you have a lot of deductions.  We don’t.

So, rant over about tax time.  I feel for those of you who have to pay in and am rooting for those of you who don’t.  Just don’t tell me about your friend’s aunt who works for the IRS who told you that all returns will be deposited tomorrow.  Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen.

 

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♥So Valentine’s Day is upon us once again♥.

I see and hear stories about how single people hate this holiday because of the expectations of finding someone to spend this ONE particular day with but there is little information about the expectation you have as a married person on Valentine’s Day.

I actually have no expectations.  S.O. and I both have the same idea about Valentine’s Day: we don’t need one day a year to express our love to each other, we show each other every day by continuing to stay and work on our relationship.  Plus I do his laundry and bore his children so there’s that.

I have never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.   In grade school it was all about the candy and which kids had the rich parents who actually gave Valentine’s Day candy instead of the just the paper Valentines.  In middle school it was all about who got the most instagram candies.  This was a particularly horrid experience:  you could for the price of .50¢ send your friends, crushes, and boyfriends/girlfriends a heart shaped sucker.  You didn’t want to be the kid that didn’t get a single one or worse: to get one from someone you didn’t like.  Than high school rolled around and it was about whose boyfriend/girlfriend did what for them.  My high school boyfriend broke up with me on Valentine’s Day to pursue someone else.  He came crawling back after a couple of days but that just cemented it:  Valentine’s Day blows.

It doesn’t help that I am not a traditional romantic type person.  The way to my heart is not through flowers and jewelry and telling me how nice I look.  The way to my heart is to take me out to dinner, look the other way when I eat a whole box of Little Debbie’s, and compliment me on my keen intellect. Let me sleep in, take a nap, read a book. Ignore the fact that I’ve worn yoga pants and the same hoody for two days and that my hair has possibly not been brushed in three.  These are the little ways that remind me of how much my S.O. loves me.   I show my love by making sure he doesn’t have to go to work in dirty clothes, making him things like sausage and potatoes when I think it’s disgusting, listen to him talk about work and tractors, and livestock and not nod off.  I let him know he’s appreciated and sometimes adored.  I point out the food in his beard and the hair on his back.  I think it works pretty well for us.

If you need someone to completely fawn all over you for Valentine’s Day, than more power to you.  I am not begrudging you this day, but I am not going to be an active participant in how one day of the year needs to be spectacularly over the top about how much you’re loved.

In short, some people view Valentine’s Day as the ultimate love letter to their beloved, their crushes, their epitome of what love should look like.  I prefer to remember that as far back as my memory allows, Valentine’s Day was the day that Al Capone shot up a rival crew in a garage.  And that sums up Valentine’s Day just fine for me.

 

 

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We get so busy with kids, school, work, functions and sometimes the last thing I want to do on the weekend is to run around.  The last three weeks we have had sick kids and a sick S.O.  I went no where except for runs to the local dollar store or gas station for necessary supplies like ginger ale and kleenex and bleach.  I was going stir crazy.

This weekend:  no sick kids, no sick S.O.  Friday, I took my dad to lunch to celebrate his belated birthday.  #7 went with us.  We had a nice lunch and then a not so nice time at the grocery store.  #7 had reached his saturation point of being told no and started to act like a madman.  He at one point called me a devil woman.  The clerk thought it was funny, I did not.   Grandpa reacted by buying him a toy with candy and handled it very well.  He got to leave for the day, I was stuck with #7.

That evening my wonderful neice agreed to babysit and S.O. and I went out to dinner sans kids.  Except for my two other nieces from my sister-in-law who were so beautifully behaved that it didn’t even seem like they were there until I had to take them to the bathroom.  It was like herding cats but all in all, it was a successful dinner.  The food was excellent and the company was great too.

Saturday morning S.O. and his dad left bright and early to go to a farm toy show (don’t ask.  I’m happy I didn’t go.   S.O. can have his hobbies and I don’t have to have the same ones.  Happy happy.)   I picked up the  house, cleaned up the fingernail polish that #7 got on the granite countertop without any type of damage to the countertops or him, managed to get dressed and have the kids dressed by the time #1 and my MIL came by.  Great start to the day.

We went with the inlaws to a flea market and I actually enjoyed walking around looking at other people’s junk.  The kids were pretty good (although #1 had her fill about halfway through and could be heard grumbling that “this is why I never want kids.”  Great birth control method, spending time with your much younger siblings!)  #4 spent his money on a pocket watch, #6 got “antique” toys (i.e. they were from the 90’s) and #7 got ice cream, popcorn, and a couple of trucks.  Mommy got nothing but getting out of the house, taking 4 kids to a flea market, and not not losing my temper was reward enough.

By the time we got back to the farmhouse it was still nice out and we were going to start a fire but decided that all that walking around was exercise enough and settled in to watch some movies.  It was a great end to the night.

Sunday was our sleep in day (re: until at least 8 a.m.) and we ate snack cakes for breakfast, pizza for lunch and had breakfast for dinner.  We watched movies in bed with the kids and accomplished nothing.  It was a great weekend.

I love weekends where we all get to hang out (except for #2 who never returns my calls or texts and #3 who cannot be bothered to wake up until 2 p.m. and #5 who just in general never wants to hang out) and relax.  This weekend we may have projects, we may have to run errands, we may even not do a damn thing.  And that’s perfectly alright with me!

 

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