Saturday, April 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

Yesterday was my father's 77th birthday. Today, we are having a party for him. Many friends and relatives are coming from all over to be here. It will be a wonderful party.

His two sisters are coming, along with his sister-in-law. Two or three of our cousins will be here. Old friends from Dad's work at USC will stand with students he has taught over the years.

I am making mini-cheesecakes. Jello no-bake cheesecakes. Back in the day, before we discovered baked "New York style" cheesecake, that is what we thought of as cheesecake. My father always had it for his birthday cake. For today, I bought a cheesecake sampler with rich baked cheesecake, but I am making the mini-Jello cheesecakes. The cakes will be served with a choice of toppings --- chocolate chips in chocolate syrup, fresh strawberries in melted jam, and caramel with pecans.

My other contributions to the party meal are also old standbys. Cocktail sausage in barbeque sauce (recipe: open package of mini-cocktail sausages; pour in a bowl with a bottle of Shealy's mustard based barbeque sauce; nuke til hot), Saucisse en croƻte (pig in the blanket), and deviled eggs. My brother will make the fancy stuff: pesto torte & other stuff I can't spell but which will taste good. My sister is providing the place and contributing meatballs, veggie platter, and chicken salad.

A good time will be had by all, I am sure.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


It is said that one shouldn't make big decisions during a crisis or time of stress. I'm not sure what that leaves, because I'm finding it hard to make decisions in the aftermath of stress time. I guess I need a vacation.

Tax season is over, and I am immediately hit with my LIST OF THINGS TO DO AFTER TAX SEASON. Clients, bless their hearts, do not understand that although I don't plan to wait until October 31 to do their tax returns, I need a freaking break, and no, bringing in a box of stuff April 12 did NOT give me enough time to get it done by April 15.

My house needs attention pretty soon. My new car needs an oil change (it actually tells me these things, which is sort of cool.)

I have planted some seeds in my incomplete accidental garden, but I don't have the cash flow I'd expected at this time of year and can't buy more plants right now. If the seeds I bought earlier grow, that will be nice. A surprise, of course, since my gardening method is to plant stuff and go away. I'd like to buy some tomato plants to plant in pots around the deck. Maybe the cash flow will improve next month.

Part of my cash flow problem is related to the purchase of a study program for the enrolled agents exam. I think it is a good investment. I've started working on it, and plan to finish the exam (three parts) by the end of July. July 30 is my birthday, so I've set that as a goal date.

I am torn right now. I can go to work a little (helping the cash flow and making some clients happy) or I can clean my house (helping my psyche and getting rid of that unpleasant odor in the garbage can beside my chair.)

I feel like a revving engine stuck in the mud. Where to go? Will I get moving before I run out of gas? And will someone please take out this dang trash can?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The First Day of Not Tax Season

It is the first day of Not Tax Season, and I feel fine. The temperature is near freezing, but will warm up. The birds and flowers seem to have appeared while I was gone. My pepper seeds are peeking out. I talked to a client who told me she'd have a new bunch of plants on Friday, so I may work on my butterfly garden.

I have lots of work to do. I have to prepare weekly payrolls and monthly & quarterly sales tax reports, catch up on bookwork. I have a few tax returns that were brought in the last week that need to be finished, even though the extension is until October. Then I'll go to my April 17 list and contact everyone I said I'd talk to after tax season. Sometime soon, we will pack up old files and clean the office.

But today, I am going in at 9 and leaving at about 1. I am cleaning my house and visiting my child's school. I am buying fruit and whole wheat cereal. I might even walk around the block.