Sunday, March 8, 2020

Miser family update

Life in the Miser Family continues to be rich and full of adventures.

Me & A-child, when I made the long, long
trek to their new house this past weekend.
I could pretend to complain.  My very own daughter, K-daughter, broke my heart by moving so far away . . . I used to be able to walk a couple of blocks to her apartment, but now her house is 4 miles from me, with no sidewalks along many of the roads and no bus route that way.  So now if I want to see her, I have to get on a bike or in a car.  I can't believe she did this to me.

And J-son, I texted and emailed him with "how are you"s and "I miss you"s, and eventually he wrote back this highly informative message: 
I'm good. How about you?
So that's how J-son is.

But in fact, I somehow managed to make it all the way to K-daughter's house (and she made it all the way to mine, but more on that below).  And I got to talk by phone with J-son and with his former foster mom; he actually is doing well, helping her with stuff like painting her basement floor and applying for jobs with OVR (Office of Vocational Rehabilitation) and sounding confident and happy.  So maybe complaining is right out. 

Prewash has her ear to the ground for good tax advice.
It'd be easier to complain about miscalculating stuff with my taxes.  I uploaded a pdf of my W2 into Turbo Tax and entered in all the charitable donations for the year and described the financial aspects of selling our former house, and I crunched the numbers and discovered to my horror that somehow we owe the IRS a bit more $24,000 this year.  THAT was an uncomfortable and unpleasant surprise, let me tell you.  I couldn't figure out why my withholding was so far off this year . . . and then I looked back and discovered that TurboTax had uploaded all the right numbers for my W2, but they'd put some of them in the wrong boxes . . . so that it looked liked I'd earned my whole salary, and then I'd earned it again in tipsWhoops!  Once I carefully corrected my W2 information, all of a sudden the IRS owed us money back.  So . . . again, hard to complain about the misery of my life. 

N-son called; he's having a blast with L-daughter and her husband Pete.  N-son has been a sidekick in Pete's business these past few weeks, traveling around and installing doors.  They installed some "speed doors" (kind of like garage doors, but speedy, I guess?) for the CEO in the headquarters of Very Well Known Bank.  So cool. 

And my husband?  He's still bopping around the world, discovering new places to ride a bike and new people to ride with.  Here's a bit of a recent email to me:
Today I rode up a 2,000-foot climb in Athens. Because it was Sunday and the eve of a national holiday, the only bike I could get easily was a wooden bike!  Seriously. The frame is ash. One ash tree is enough wood to make 50 bikes and the company plants 50 trees for each one they harvest. So I rode a wooden bike up and down a winding road on a mountain on the west side of Athens. It was heavy and the easiest gear was not quite easy enough, but I made it. 
I just thought you would like know that I rode a wooden bike!! Definitely recyclable.
I also walked up to the Acropolis to the Parthenon.  So I am getting exercise.

I think I recognize this place.
And back here on the homestead, I discovered two new (to me) recipes: twice-baked potatoes, and "beet balls" (like meat balls, but with veggies instead of hamburger).  Since my CSA keeps giving me so many vegetables I can't eat them all by myself, I was delighted that all of my kids within a 4-mile radius got to come over for a Leap Day Dinner at the end of February. 

What do we eat at a Leap Day dinner, you ask? 

(Actually twice-baked potatoes with carrot ears and cauliflower tails).

Leap Frog faces!
(Actually empanadas, stuffed with beet balls).

And leaf-year salad! And popcorn!  And spring water!
(Sorry for the jumpy picture).
We had an awesome time, hopping origami frogs around the table and into various food dishes. 

What else?  I wrote my husband to give him the news that I've changed the locks on him.  They're combination locks, and I haven't changed the combination, but I installed door locks with buttons that are easier to see in the twilight hours.  I figure, if I can complain that my daughter moved so far away, I ought to let my husband complain that his wife changed the locks while he was away.

I picked up a book, Garbage Land, from a Little Free Library . . . reading this book is getting me even weirder about avoiding garbage than before, if such a thing is possible.  Sheesh.  Family, you've been warned.

And that's the news from our family, which continues to be rich in our adventures.  May you and yours be similarly wealthy.  

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