25 April 2008

It just gets better and better...

For the first time in I don't know how long, I was told I'd be getting a tax refund. Actual money back from the government. Money to get me out of the hole I'm in...money, real money.

Now you all that follow my oh-so-exciting life via The Lettuce know that whenever something good is about to happen or has happened in my life, something bad is bound to follow. "Whenever God closes a door, God opens a window..." and then someone slams the window shut on my hands or I'm stuck behind the closed door, however you'd like to continue that metaphor.

I wait and wait for my refund like a good, honest taxpaying American. I've had to deal with smaller paychecks all year but now it's going to pay off for me. Still waiting, I go to the post one day to return with a letter from the IRS. It seems that due to several audits of tax returns filed between 2003 and I guess 2006, there is a huge debt owed to the IRS by a social security number attached to mine. Anyone want to guess who belongs to that number? Because that number is attached to my number (never mind the divorce decree that states that all back taxes owed to the government are the responsibility of my ex-husband, not me...darn, guess I gave away the owner of the other SSN there, didn't I?) the feds have KEPT my refund to be put toward the balance owed.

You are kidding me. I will admit, just to those of you reading today (but don't tell anyone) to a minor meltdown when I got that letter. My tax refund money, while not an astronomical amount, was my wedding money. This was seed money for my move to the UK. This was going to take care of the little debts I still have control over and set me firmly on the path to credit rating recovery.

I emailed my ex, who was very apologetic but was unable to help me. Seems that with interest owed, my piddly return was just a drop in a huge ocean of a balance owed to the feds. In fact, I would be willing to bet that if I hadn't told him what had happened he would never have noticed the difference when he looked over his statement from the IRS.

My dad's accountant, who prepared my returns, has a copy of my divorce decree now and is going to see if there's anything he can do. Sadly, because at the time of the first audit the ex and I were still married and he wasn't beating me I think I'm out of luck as far as relief goes.

Well, beloveds, gentle readers, it's about to happen again. Upon hearing the news that our economic stimulus payments from the feds (also known as Dubya handing out cash on his way out the door after ruining our economy for eight years) would be distributed early, I immediately beat a path to the IRS.gov website to see when I could expect a nice jump in my bank balance. I used their calculator thinking that not only would it tell me what I already know, that I'm supposed to be getting $600, but it would also say when to expect it.

Yes on the $600, but there was an interesting caveat under the total..."The estimated payment amount could be reduced, however, if you have an unpaid tax liability."

You have GOT to be kidding me. When, I ask you, do I get to be free of that relationship and free of bailing out someone else's problems with the IRS?

There had better be a crisp new $600 entry in the debit column of my online bank register on May 3rd or I may just explode. Might want to put a hard hat by the computer just in case, the fall out will be nasty.

The Creeping Donut Conundrum

Creeping Donut
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
I think it's a message from the stray cats in the neighborhood. This donut has been showing up in my yard, in my shrubbery, on my driveway, all over the place for the past couple of weeks. I kicked it out to the street several times and it keeps coming back. I always kick it out there on the day that the garbage truck comes to empty my bins. I thought the first time it was them, upset that it was not in the bin. But this week it disappeared until just this morning. I snapped that picture when I took the rubbish out just now.

Hey! Maybe there will be an episode of The Big Bang Theory named after my driveway!

Maybe I need to go back to bed...

22 April 2008

Momma, I'm coming home...

You Rang?
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
Simon, my foster dog, will be coming back to me this week. I'd hoped that he would wind his way into the heart of another member of my greyhound group like he has into my own heart, but alas, she is a stronger Nancy than I am.

I have to pretend that I mind, but in truth I don't. I love this knucklehead, and if it weren't for the astronomical cost of shipping four animals to the UK in January...well, I just think that my bank account would explode should I try to add a fifth.

(For those doing the math, it's three greyhounds and Mills...)

So, are you looking for the perfect dog? Do you mind being joined on the sofa for a snuggle while watching television? Do you long for a set of gorgeous brown eyes to look up at you? How about a dog that's so smart, he nods his head when you ask him questions?

(Okay, that last part is just coincidence... he nods equally for "Do you need to go out?" and "Would you like to go back to the vet and have more teeth pulled?")

Sweet Simon...never was a greyhound more aptly named, and never, not even Sammie or Henry, will a foster take more of my heart when he finds his own home than Simon will. See ya soon, Si-Si.

21 April 2008

More Proof

All you can do in this world, I think, is try to be a good person. Try to help your fellow man or woman or child. Try to give what you have that you don't need. Try to be a shoulder for someone else to cry on when they need it. Try to make right the wrongs that you can, and continue to fight for the ones you can't.

Because this world, beloveds, is horrible. It is full of people that do and say as they please with no regard for anyone else but themselves and theirs. It is overflowing with people who have so much yet ignore those that have so little. This world rewards selfishness. It rewards greed and blind ambition. This world praises competition to the point of ruthlessness. This world stomps on the heads of those deemed lesser on it's way to becoming greater.

My friend Trish died today. Totally unexpectedly. Into hospital overnight last night and by tonight she's gone. Trish, who took in ferrets that had been raised in mills and through love turned their tiny worlds around and gave them a home rather than just an existence, who took shy greyhounds and turned them into happy dogs, and who was raising a stunning reef. Trish, who listened to me cry and scream and rail against the world, God, and parts of my own family when my aunt died last August. Trish, who always seemed to know that right thing to say to make you smile, and who never let on that she was hurting or sick if she thought that a friend needed her.

I never met Trish in person. I knew her via a message board called GreyTalk, and more intimately when she adopted her girl Flippy through Follow That Hound. She wept with me over Profile's loss, and cried happy tears that she would get to meet Hunk after he was found cancer free...she'd fallen in love with him through my books.

Trish was good and honest and loving...and she is gone, while others not so good nor honest nor loving still walk the world. The world that didn't deserve her. So be kind to each other, if you can...this is just more proof that all we can do in the world today is find ways to survive.

I would never ignore a word of anything you entrusted me with, Nan. Know that now and always. I'm here for you, any time. Don't be afraid to write. Don't be afraid to call, or txt. All my love, the pups, and the rest of the critter's but some of them aren't quite as cuddly and comforting as others. LOL! I'm so so sorry for this loss, and I will vow to you to do everything I can to be here for you. You also have a strong circle of friends, and you know that. They're all there for you too. Thank you for trusting me into that circle by sharing this letter with me. Everything you say to me, stays between us, unless you request otherwise.

Here's a Flippy kiss. I guarantee you can't get away from a Flippy kiss and a little of her talking, without a smile, even a tiny one.

Love ya, girlfriend,

Welcome to my Forehead.

Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
So much going on...so little brain cells to cope with it all...

This is pretty much how I look most days. Note the furrowed brow and the raised eyebrows. There is something to be said for adrenaline, because I think that's all I'm running on these days.

The wedding has to be planned. Three of the four members of the wedding party that aren't the bride and groom live across an ocean.

Oh yeah, speaking of that ocean, I have to move across it in about nine months. Before that, though, I have to move down the street here in Greenville, and then into my grandmother's house in Georgia.

It's enough to make you crazy. Oh, speaking of that, work is more often than not a headache. The joys of working a government job and supervising people that are not in the same physical area you are in...it just never seems to end.

Speaking of ends, I'm watching Hunky's carefully. He had a "boo boo tummy" last Thursday and Friday which kept us home from the Renn Fest in Georgia. Since Friday there's been no movement on that front, literally...well, until Daisy got sick for two hours straight on the rug next to my bed.

Note the eyes in the photo...that's called tired, boys and girls. Tired.

Music Monday: Still Unwritten

This has been a weird couple of days, culminating in Music Monday almost being forgotten. Last Thursday I went to my appointment with "...