A tomato ate my sister

My work email is at 180%, I have two extra days of work to cram in this week since I dared take vacation, my arm hurts from being on the computer too much, and my neighbor mowed our lawn because I’m too lame to make time for it. I struggle with being in a funk half the time and the other half avidly planning Big Things like catching up on life, as neatly described in lists (the bits and pieces must be captured on paper so I can free my mind to remember other things). All of the errand-doing makes me feel in control and when those things are done and the house is clean, I’m unstoppably happy. It just doesn’t happen very often.

A friend of mine quit her job today. She saved and made a plan (things I am reasonably good at) and just quit to pursue something better on her own. I am risk averse and actually I like my job (mostly), so I don’t see quitting in my near future. But what if I could make a living out of something I really liked? What if I weren’t stressed from work most nights, lugging my laptop home to write my Performance Management since I’m being Performance Managed tomorrow morning by a person I see in meetings now and then who judges my Performance on many items, not the least of which includes my ability to balance work and life and taking care of my ergonomic injury, both of which I’ve just admitted I am unable to do well at all? Meanwhile I’ve felt too busy to exercise in weeks and coupled with stress-eating, well, I’m unfit and cranky.

So let’s talk about happier things like vegetables. I planted some for the first time ever.

garden0709a
Pretty peppers. They are planted in a drawer box that never made it to drawerdom. I love how the bell peppers start out like a baby acorn and suddenly turn into an ungainly fruit. The mint achieved real pots, and note the famous hose reel. And David made me some cute little support sticks from leftover cherry.

garden0709b
David’s tomatoes match my height. He keeps singing about their Attack.

garden0709c
Zucchini takes over the world, obscuring some sad broccoli, neighbored by the coneflowers which made it back from last year’s flowers, basil, and parsley with mutant branches.

The coworker whose phone keeps playing TNT, it’s Dynamite is about to get slapped.

Swamped

Holy moly I have a lot of work to do this week. How come everyone else went on vacation?

Nicole and I will have to do more study halls. It’s easier to focus on working from home when someone else suffers with ya.

Thanks for informing me that my mailbox is over its size limit

Several years ago we discovered a reasonable way to manage work and stay caught up was to be ‘in the window.’ Our email has to fit on one screen in our mail program. The last time I was in the window was about three and a half years ago. I’m also at 172% of my allotted email space in the system. Go me!

Someone egged our house this weekend. It was about 90 degrees so it pretty much baked right to the porch. Fun neighborhood! I can’t help but think it has something to do with the punk kid next door. Usually his Rott jumps the fence and tears up our trash but unless the dog grew thumbs, someone else has it out for us. I was mad the other day that they let the dog (I assume it was theirs–high probability given the number of times I’ve seen him standing in our yard) leave a steaming pile in our front yard and they sat on the porch and did nothing about it. So I mowed over it and they had to smell it. Eggs may be payback?

Just got a ‘good job’ email from my manager to my boss. At least someone notices I’m trying to get a few things done. And today was nacho bar!

www.nataliedee.com
www.nataliedee.com

I need a work blog

I'm leaving work to go home and check work email

I need a work-only blog or maybe Corporate Facebook where I can rant about the crap I put up with at my job. It’s a tough week and the stress spills over to personal life, yet I can’t really discuss details about work nor do I really want to talk about why my life sucks because it just sounds like whining even if it feels real. Let’s just say sometimes I want to brain* people.

*My mom used to say that but I don’t think I ever have: To smash the skull of; Slang: to hit or bang (someone) on the head.

The list

I struggle constantly with The List running through my head: all the crap I should do. I keep written lists sometimes and then got excited when Google came up with a notes-tracking application, except my stupid work computer has an old browser which I cannot upgrade and therefore I can’t use that application except at home (nor see much flash, nor load a lot of pages, nor get the computer going in less than six minutes–but that’s more a RAM problem I think).

So I signed up for Evernote, but so far haven’t really done much with it. I would rather have a quick link from my Gmail. Is there some other application that would be better? Actually I think once I (probably) get that iPhone I’ll solve my always-available-paperless-to-do-list problem quickly, perhaps then with Evernote.

Anyway my ambitious self thinks I should do all this crap. And in the late afternoon when I want to leave work but have more work to do, I keep thinking how much stuff I’ll do when I get home. By the time I get home I’m just tired and cranky and downright lazy. I need to figure out what legal drug could get me zippy and productive in the evening but still allow me to sleep! Or something. I will say melatonin before bed has been helpful to regulate my sleep more. I get sleepy faster and it’s a whole lot easier to get out of bed in the morning–maybe that’s the miracle that will ultimately get more things off my List!

A sampling so I can feel accountable:

bond Arliss and Waldo somebody (Waldo was adopted!)
finish reorganizing and cleaning bunny room
clean pig cage
scrape brick David did it!
change Jetta headlight AGAIN
clean car
get grids, get and plant hostas from Dawn
paint front porch trim
repot mint plants
mulching
medicate Vegas (re-vet Vegas’ sneeze? and Harrison’s limp? pigs need vetting too)
more dog walking, cycling, and running
haircut
meal planning
more cooking/less eating out
pick up rain barrel at KIB
call cable company to yell about the latest price hike
iPhone purchase
TV shopping
path forward: Tivo vs DVR/other source
refill Casper’s meds
update Casper’s microchip
rehab front porch mess
canoeing
iTunes from old computer
finish video edit
desk cleanoff
laundry room reorg
de-fridge the basement
continue decluttering at home
ditch financial adviser/meet w/new one
mail passport renewal
respond to old email
send Father’s Day gift to Dad
organize recipes (still looking for advice on that) I just went with a binder with tabs for now. My elegant electronic version will have to wait
go through clothes for Goodwill
dust/vacuum hooray for paying a friend to clean!

I noticed a couple of these were still there from the list I made last year

There’s an equally long list at work, one which stresses me even more.

Earthlink update! Remember how my email stopped working in December and they were able to hang up on me but not fix the problem? This week I got an overdue bill and they threatened collections! LOL. No worries, all resolved now. And I’m happy to report they never actually got a dime from me. I hope I wasted their server space and CSR time. Navigating their phone tree was enough to make me furious all over again.

Lack of insight

Unabashedly data-driven, I try to out-think surveys and big-picture what you’re asking me before you finish the question. But send me to a teambuilding exercise and I must summon all my inner strength, rationing my energy to last through the workshop and not poke my eyes out. I am blue, according to this course, and the people who create these courses and make me go to them are NOT.

I have been to other workshops in the past, most more painful than this one, and I attribute the lessened pain to the fact that while I’m an introvert, I’ve developed skills over the years to help me work pretty well with people. (Also, this event happened with a team I’ve been a part of for several years and we already get along pretty well, plus most of us are blue, so there weren’t any big surprises…but then it wasn’t as effective either and I think a lot of us were frustrated with missing a day of work.) The problem with personality-analyzing teambuilding classes, for me, is that it exposes how incompetent I am naturally (at least that’s how I tend to read my personality assessments) and makes me doubt all the confidence boosts I’ve had as I’ve seen my skills grow. Basically, team building takes me back a few steps. I was physically drained for hours after this event as well.

The good information from these exercises is learning what helps me work effectively, what things I can work on, and acknowledging what drives me nuts. But most of that I’ve already figured out (analyzing data, after all) and once you get a grasp of your general assessment (INTJ or blue, specifically Coordinating Observer, or CIR or whatever you want to call it in my case), you don’t really need to rehash it, and you especially don’t want to do it in a group with a lot of flip charts or *shudder* roleplaying.

A few highlights of my expensive assessment:
-I am motivated by avoiding frequent meetings, an internal desire “to do the right thing in the right way,” a job well done, and “systems” related tasks.
-I may benefit from relaxing mentally and not trying to out-think everyone, practicing initiating conversation (particularly small talk) with strangers, and an awareness of when I am acting defensively or cynically.
-Key strengths: open minded, objectivity, good memory for details (no shit!), pragmatic/rational thinker, responsible/methodical and work well with figures and procedures (also no shit!).
-Possible (more like confirmed) weaknesses: I don’t respond well to uncertainty, my modesty and reticence prevents timely interventions, I require extra time to complete tasks, I can appear too unemotional or uninvolved.
-Value to the team: I have a strong sense of duty and take my work seriously, I handle complexity well, and I carefully assess situations before acting.
-To communicate with me, accept that “reflecting time” is essential to enhance my performance, ask my opinions of other systems and projects, respect my values and principles, and give me plenty of time to think through answers to your questions.
-DO NOT be too loud and hearty, implement change for change’s sake, or comment on my appearance (this made me laugh but is pretty true!).
-I also found it funny that management should help me tolerate colleagues less gifted than myself.

Basically I need to know WHY WHY WHY and THINK ABOUT THE DATA FOREVER. And then if it’s complex enough and I’m interested enough, I’ll do an awesome job solving your problem. But it will take me forever to make a decision about it.

There’s also a section on Living on Purpose, and the first sentence is “Amy may be rather dubious about the whole principle of goal-setting.” Seriously. It says I process the data and adjust as I go and that’s very true. It also notes that I may take home the worries of the day. Wow, if I could control that better, I’d get a lot more done and feel a lot less guilty. And maybe I wouldn’t feel chained to my pager.

At the end of the whole thing it turns out that while I’m only expressing 3% yellow (my opposite color, basically the inspiring sunshiney people-people), and I’m expressing 96% blue, I’m not even in the most severe blue part of the charts and I’m quite well balanced with 69% green expression (the ‘supporters’) and even 37% expressed red (the ‘directors,’ like many people in supervision). So while red people scare me, this helps me deal with my boss better and I have some sense of how she thinks, and while yellow people make me bonkers, there aren’t any in my department so I guess I don’t need to worry about it right now!

Ok, thanks for letting me analyze that data. Since it’s processed and will be remembered forever I can move on to the next thing.

What you missed

Those on Facebook may be familiar with recent escapades. Here’s a summary and a few extras!

Poor David Beckham, victim of endorsing a product that can vandalize.
sharpie

I finally captured this bizarre vehicle while biking. I’ve seen him around but now I know where he lives! I think he collects abandoned carts from the neighborhood.
cartman

April 7: Evacuation
April 8: Unclog sewer pipe
April 10: Are four gin & tonics a lot?
April 11: Pissed about working on a Saturday during my vacation
April 12: Beat the pants off my family at Scrabble
April 13: Finished state taxes and had an embarrassing exam
April 15: Ate all the peanut M&Ms in cubicle next to mine
April 17: Rode bike to work and saw red-headed woodpecker, Christmas tree w/tinsel, middle-aged guy in fedora on BMX
April 17: Went out drinkin’ with friends and then bought cigarettes for the first time
April 18: Rode my bike to Race for the Cure
April 20: Busch Light can in my newspaper tube
April 21: Work woke me up at 1 a.m.
April 23: Casper won a photo contest
April 24: Work woke me up at 3 a.m.
April 24: Some asswipe broke into my Jeep
April 25: Rode my bike to Earth Day
April 25: Appraisal woes and bought a refrigerator
April 25: Someone stole my credit card number
April 26: Mutt Strut! Pics to come but this is my favorite:
carry
April 28: Frustrated by canceling services and realizing property taxes are worse than I thought
April 28: Someone shit in our driveway
April 29: Sold my house! Still pissed about taxes
Next few days: Slammed at work and given an ‘opportunity’ (that means more work)
May 2: ToxDrop and electronics recycling
May 3: Insulated the attic
insulation dsattic

Don’t you want to be my friend now? My favorite FB comments had to do with the shit in the driveway.

How we don’t save money

Today on the phone.
David: I bought you a present!
Me: Ok…
D: I paid too much for it, which you’ll hate, but it’s really awesome and you’ll like it.

A few hours later…
D: Your present arrives in two days!
Me: Am I going to think it’s useful?
D: Yes!
Me: You said I’d be mad that you paid too much. That means it’s probably $100-$150 and you should have paid $75 or less.
D: Wow, you’re good.

Twenty questions ensues, not because I like to spoil surprises but because sometimes his surprises aren’t exactly what everyone wanted and I feel terrible about wasting money. Usually it’s something he wants and thinks you should have and he finds a way to tie it into something you did say you wanted. For example, after I bought him a big TV he bought me an HD TiVo that is 98% filled with his programs now, and then he bought me a huge hard drive to upgrade that TiVo to store more stuff, but it was commandeered for another project altogether. I also figured out tonight that our cable/TiVo bill is about 20% of the monthly mortgage so my financial heart was breaking before we discussed the surprise.

The things the present is not: sod, windows, rain barrel, sump pump, refrigerator or freezer (there’s another story there), compost bin, kitchen cabinet doors, basement bathroom sink, key fobs to set house alarm remotely, dog poop scoop service. I discovered it was utilitarian and for outdoors. I figured out it was a hose reel.

D: A bronze hose reel with brass connectors!
Me: Where does it go?
D: On the side of the house, so you can take the hose to water flowers in the front or back yard.
Me: Isn’t someone going to steal it? (Someone stole our aluminum downspouts off the garage.) You’re going to use it to water tomatoes in the back yard too?

Here’s what we had talked about last week: the tomatoes get planted next to a spigot in the backyard and I expressed a wish to not leave that hose lying in the yard where it kills the grass and makes it hard to mow, not to mention the dog poop usually in the area getting on the hose. I said I was going to bring my giant hose hook thing from my old house to this spot. Also note there is a key-locked gate between the backyard w/tomatoes and the side of the house where the fancy new hose reel goes.

D: No, I’ll just use the hose that’s back there.
Me: Could this hose reel go back there instead?
D: No, it’s a parallel feed, and we would need to get the perpendicular model for the backyard hose.

After as careful a letdown as I could manage–I mean he was excited to buy me a hose reel, and everyone knows I LOVE utilitarian gifts when they are the right gifts–I explained I’ve never used a hose at the side of the house. I fill the watering can directly from the spigot. And once I get a rain barrel, which I tried to buy this week, I will fill the watering can from that.

Me: But I really want a good watering can!

This is true. I spent half of last summer searching for a new watering can. My old sturdy plastic one is cracked and leaks through the duct tape holding it together. I never found a can I liked and most online cans were too expensive, so I didn’t buy one. I resorted to using five-gallon buckets to water flowers last fall.

Result: David tried to change the order to the perpendicular hose reel so he could enjoy the acquisition by the tomatoes. We tried to find me a watering can online, which he was going to buy for me instead, but I ended up buying it and he says he’ll get dinner or something. The watering can was $24.95 (pretty good considering many pretty ones were $75 but this one was almost perfect from a functional standpoint), but the stupid company charges $9.90 for “Handling and home delivery” which is B.S. 40% of the order for shipping!?! I almost didn’t buy it (and this might be why I didn’t buy it last year), but I found an online code for $6 off with a $25 order. Of course my order was five cents short to qualify. So I bought a 10 pack of biodegradable leaf bags on sale, and in the end the shipping was the same and I spent more than if I’d just bought the stupid can. But I have been looking for a more environmentally friendly way to store recyclables like odd plastics that have to go to a special facility and this seemed like a solution.

wcan

See how that worked? He still spent over $100 on a hose reel and I spent almost forty bucks on a watering can and a filler item. And I still don’t have a rain barrel, but I do have a homeless hose hook.

Now for the old freezer he brought home from his mom’s tonight that he wants to put in the basement, where we have no space and it will make the electric bill go up… This in response to my already agreeing to purchase a new Energy Star fridge but he has to remodel the pantry area first so it will fit. The new fridge is supposed to solve the small-freezer problem we currently have. If that old freezer goes in the basement, I fear it will never leave.

Today at work

1. Had to argue with someone that a pH meter couldn’t go to 20.

2. Another department, we’ll say A, took some of our workload (hooray, and we’ll be B) a few months ago by doing one of those grandiose automation projects that is supposed to give faster results but costs a lot to implement, and then they had unintended consequences that were way worse than waiting a couple hours for results from our Dept B, so we have to take the work back (boo). The process to get the work back, though, is a moderate red tape extravaganza, and we asked Dept A to put a few sentences in their document so we wouldn’t have to repeat all the red tape in our own document to support this change. Oh and we have about four days to make all this happen. (Nothing happens in four days around here.)

Everyone on board, things are cool yesterday, moving along… then today someone in Dept A freaks out about what was previously cool just 24 hours ago. Honestly, I still don’t understand what the problem was. I try to calm the parties and thought we came to an agreement after I suggested a simple but brilliant solution (wordsmithing is like lube). Then I get a page that says “Person in your dept B says they’ll just do their own document after all so we’re removing part of your content from ours.” I call back and say “well, if Person B is ok with it, I guess I’ll go along with that…” Then person A calls THAT person B and tell them _I_ said to do this document change ourselves! Then they go tell everyone else that this person B and I agreed this was the path forward! Dang, how third grade can you get? In the end it’s just more red tape and B will be delayed in taking A’s work back, so way to save some time and money. We were played.

Note that the person who runs Dept A seems to hold a grudge against me (and my Dept B) and caused all SORTS of trouble by going behind our backs to our bosses right after agreeing to our faces about a conflict that he created and was not any of his business just about two weeks ago.

3. Realtor emails, wants to do an open house THIS SUNDAY but asks me about it today. As it is I’m barely getting any sleep due to giant projects at work and I just didn’t want to go reclean another house right now.

4. I was yelled at in an email (copied to four other people, of course) for not approving a procedure that isn’t even out for my approval. I rejected it two weeks ago and it got stuck in the computer system at some point after that.

5. Big software changes are scheduled for this weekend for a system in which I’m an expert. Coordinated with these changes are user access changes, but some of them went active prematurely and now my peers lost their ability to do their work and I have to go do it. I came to terms with this new development that should only last a few days but could get hairy occasionally.

I come to my desk to find an email titled, “Software HELP!!!!!!” and then IM says
Person Q [3:11 PM]:
You there?
Person Q [3:15 PM]:
Did you get my email?
Amy [3:29 PM]:
just got back, been runnign around
Amy [3:29 PM]:
I will do them now
Person Q [3:29 PM]:
Thanks – no real rush
Amy [3:29 PM]:
except for all the !!!! after your HELP message lol
Person Q [3:32 PM]:
I panicked at first – I ve cooled since
Person Q [3:33 PM]:
Thanks again

6. Why is it that people still schedule me into meetings on days I have blocked in my calendar for all-day forums?

I also managed to squeeze in two department meetings, an oh-shit-this-is-due-at-noon meeting, an optional meeting to give myself a reality check on the software changes, and about eight trips to the lab, not to mention the preemptive emails pleading with folks to help us finish a project and I signed five protocols. I admit that I skipped the 8 a.m. conference call; something had to give. Now back to my other 13 documents awaiting the red pen. How did it get to be after five already and I haven’t gotten any real work done?

Not smart enough (how to screw up your taxes)

Let it be known that probably only my dad and perhaps a few other anal code-readers may care about this post, but I wanted to point out what seemed to be an issue in the Indiana state tax online filing forms. After spending a couple hours reading about this online and writing the post, I think I determined I was misunderstanding a few terms and I-file is working ok.

I’ve been filing my taxes online for several years. Every year I find something glitchy or goofy, but in general the last two years have provided good interactive online experiences that resulted in easily direct-deposited refunds and simple logins that usually remember some of my data from the previous year.

I’m a bit stuck right now, though. I did my federal as usual at esmarttax.com, a site I’ve used for several years. Someone dumb there doesn’t know the difference between principle and principal, but otherwise the experience has been flawless for me. Once I file the federal online, to avoid paying that site to e-file my Indiana taxes, I use the free Indiana e-file site–or as they call it, I-file. BTW, sometimes when you click links on their site, the page dead-ends or crashes. And sometimes it works with a redirect to the right page. Go figure.

This year I was reminded of some idiosyncrasies in the I-file system, including when I could not remember their password rules: Not all lower case and not all upper case characters. Who does that? I’ve seen requirements for length and numeric characters, but this I couldn’t remember. It’s only after updating my email address (which can be done despite not being able to log in), then having them send me my username by email (I actually had that right but couldn’t tell), THEN using that to update my password using the security questions that I was able to enter my filing account. The site helpfully remembered my address and employer (though not their address on the W-2). And then… the property tax rebate stuff happened.

I previously posted a tip from in.gov to help you address your property tax rebate on your federal return, which I did and was promptly penalized my fifty bucks in federal taxes on the amount. This rebate situation (property taxes paid to state from mortgage escrow but refunded from state by check directly to me) complicates last year’s itemization, but I figured it’s an easy audit trigger and technically I did get that money back, so I spent a great deal of time determining how to un-itemize the rebated amount. Meanwhile I still paid into escrow for the whole year but the state’s asinine treatment of property taxes in 2008 means my escrow did not have to pay out for half of the year, so I’m still out the cash but I only get a deduction for that half portion. And then that’s reduced by the rebate. Sigh.

Legislators: no more property tax rebates. Just credit the next bill. How much money and time did we waste sending checks to Hoosier homeowners? Your PR stunt was not in our best interests.

Anyway, here’s what we find in the I-file:
ifile2
Technically, I think the actual amount paid for Tax Year 2008 (blue underline) would be zero because property taxes are paid in arrears, so until I pay my bill in 2009 which is FOR 2008, well, you see.

Then, green underline, same problem. Of course what I paid in 2008 was for 2007, as described above. But I am pretty sure they are asking if I paid late. This one isn’t worded as badly. Do I just know a little too much to do this right?

Next, I was happy/surprised to see a question about whether I told the feds I received a rebate. Way to keep Hoosiers honest (or something):

ifile1
*This is where I misunderstood! This state tax refund amount is NOT the rebate. At least I don’t think it is after pondering for way too long.

My logic went like this:
First of all, the line marked “taxable refunds blah blah blah” (see red underline) is not where you report the rebate. You read the 1040 instructions for this line (10) which refer you to another publication and that tells you to enter the amount on a different line (21). It’s still the income section and it still adds it to your AGI, so in the end the federal part is right and I-file is just telling you to put it in not-quite the right place.

I figured the spirit of the question was still answerable as Yes, so you’ll see where I entered my rebate in the next box with the purple circle. Lalala, I continued through the I-file pages until suddenly my $900 in paid property taxes (the amount escrow paid out for me in 2008 per the form they sent me), which I had entered on that first screen, became $1101 on the Indiana tax form line 8 called Indiana deductions! Magically, I get to ADD the rebate to my taxes paid, not SUBTRACT it from the total!

Well, surely I screwed up something, right? Even though one never puts a negative number on a tax form (instructions just add or subtract one line from another), I went back and entered -201 in that box with the purple circle. ERROR! Red letters tell me I must enter a positive number.

Well, now what? I think the answer is one of these:
1. I am doing something wrong. I should eventually get a deduction for the 900 less the 201 for a total deduction of 699, right?
2. The I-file calcs are wrong.
3. We are both right, but I didn’t realize Indiana felt badly for socking me with back taxes on my federal so it’s being nice and giving me this bonus cash.

After typing all this I think it is actually #1 and #3, sort of. “Indiana will not tax this rebate” is stated at that tip I linked, however it also says “You also will need to subtract the rebate off of your 2008 Indiana tax return.” I took “subtract the rebate off your return” to mean subtracting it from the amount escrow paid the state (my $900 deduction), but it might mean subtract it from the federal AGI (which made it ‘income’), such that I am not taxed on that enhanced AGI by Indiana–hence a ‘deduction’ of that amount is added to the ‘deduction’ of the tax bill paid. This is all very stupid and I’m still not sure I’m not being taxed by Indiana anyway (they use federal AGI to determine taxable income, so since that includes the rebate, aren’t I being taxed by the state anyway?).

Other than a brief glimmer of hope for an explanation when I found an in.gov tax blog (it turned out to be more of a silly press release written in first person format with lots of cliches), I couldn’t figure out what I should do on this form. I either get a refund of $23 (with the $1101 deduction) or $9 (not sure how I got that one) or $3 (this should be ‘right’ but was only achieved by entering the $699 net taxes paid as the ‘actual amount of property tax paid’ and telling I-file I didn’t put the rebate recovery state tax refund on the federal form). *This last choice seems to be correct now that I realize the line 10 stuff was not about the rebate. I think.

All this is to say I saved my session and didn’t file my state return tonight. I’m a pretty sharp girl. Am I overthinking it, or are my fellow Hoosiers doomed to confusion as well? It should not be this difficult.

*Posted anyway so you can see how my analytical mind travels the wrong track eagerly at times and so Dad can see that this is resolved…except for the state taxing the rebate they said they wouldn’t tax. Reading page 18 of the IT-40 Booklet (IN tax instructions) mostly explained it and even had an example. I wonder if I’d read those first if I could have avoided the confusion! Now where’s my three bucks!?

Hoosier tax tip and more environmental ne’er-do-wells

February was relatively productive for me, at least in the world where I don’t get around to blogging as a result. This is too bad since I usually share that it’s Adopt A Rescued Rabbit month and low-cost spay-neuter month. We did adopt out several rabbits, though, including a couple from my house: Tegan, who we captured as a stray last fall, and Raquel, a shelter rescue a couple years ago who was recently returned by her adopters because they were moving (can y’all hear me groan? I wonder if it was convenient for them to take their kids and dog to the new house). These two buns are very sweet and both were adopted into homes with a bunny boyfriend, so they’ll never be lonely.

dawnnab raq


Tax tip for Hoosiers: You may have received a property tax rebate from the state last year. Well, guess what, that’s income now. I found this helpful info about how to handle the rebate, and if you itemized like I did, you’ll need to check out the 1040 instructions for line 10 and read Pub 525. And then you’ll put the ‘recovered’ income on line 21.


More dumbass packaging.

David needed to repair some air hoses, so he bought some fittings. They weren’t right, so he bought different fittings. They weren’t right either, so he ordered some fittings online. They shipped in a box like this.
sencobox
Please note that on the same day he also received something else from Amazon which was a larger item yet managed to come in a smaller box than this one.

Oh and those fittings were wrong too, so he sent them back (in a Jiffy bag of course) and ordered again and got the same tiny parts in the same big box!! I need to go plant a bunch of trees now.

…Especially because I bought a sample size of hair cream and a makeup pencil sharpener. Sephora was kind enough to send these tiny items (look for them, they’re in the picture) in this big box with bubble wrap and lots of virgin paper stuffing. Guess I won’t be buying from them again. I found a free shipping code and didn’t want to mess with traffic on the northside, thinking this was more efficient.
sephorabox
What’s the environmental Hail Mary? Besides recycling all the boxes and air pillows, of course.