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Archive for February, 2017

Warning: this post is only a tiny bit financial

February 28th, 2017 at 04:51 am

I guess I should get the financial part out of the way first... I had to go back to the grocery store today to get a couple of things I forgot - grrr. But... I am still well under our budget for food this month, by about $200!!!

Some misc. spending... we had to buy a new knob for our dryer (the other one broke). We use it very little, but I guess it's 18 years old. Also bought some new soccer cleats for F whose foot is now bigger than mine. She says her indoor shoes still fit.

Here is the rest of this post:
Our school girls team played our school boys team tonight in basketball. The boys have one amazing player; he got half the points (14 out of 31). They have another really great player. He got another 11 of the points. The other 6 points were made by kids who were set up by one of the other two. Our girls fought hard and scored 14 points.

Last time this happened the boys (not the two really good players who are super nice boys) talked trash the entire next day telling the girls that they lost because girls aren't as good at basketball. These are boys that are not very good players and contributed very little to the team (the coach's fault really, because he is relying on his strong players and not developing the others, but still).

Anyway, this is all background, because what I wanted to get off my chest is this: I was sitting next to a friend at the game whose son pretty much constantly harasses my daughter. I've kept my friendship with her separate from her son's poor behavior. She turned to me at half time and said "F called H sexist today!" I answered "Well, I hear he says some pretty sexist things sometimes!"

My friend said that F called her son sexist because he said he couldn't make it to the women's march. (Huh?). F said she (and several other girls in the class) said he was sexist because he was trashing them about being on the basketball team.

Do you want to hear what he said recently (besides girls can't play basketball)? This was in a debate about whether or not boys or girls are treated better. He said that girls should go to all-girls schools where they can sit quietly and learn to sew and boys should go to all-boys schools where they can be outside and play soccer.

I hears this from three separate girls (who were really mad about it) and the teacher (who I asked about it after the girls were so upset).

Well, I told the mom what he said. Maybe I shouldn't have. I said "There are two sides to every story, and you're hearing H's side, and I'm hearing F's, but this was confirmed by other people."

She said "He was probably just teasing them." And then "Well it was a debate." And then "But his father sews." And then "He doesn't play soccer."

And she said the basketball comments were just 6th grade banter. (Editorial: unacceptable banter, if you ask me; I mean really: sore winners? Who every heard of sore winners?).

I told her that it didn't really matter; there were always two sides, and as they get older the boys and girls will become friends again (editorial: they won't).

I hope she and I are still friends because I like her. But she is seriously clueless about her son. It's seriously weird because SHE played basketball when she was younger.

I know you probably have all sorts of comments on how I handled myself, but I'm not really concerned about me. I told F to just stay away from H, ignore his nasty comments tomorrow in school. I think that was the right thing to do. She needs to be secure in herself and not worry about him.

That's what I told her.

Now for all of you, the real reason he is always so mean to her: he's in the lowest math group, she's in the highest. She is sporty and active and does play soccer, and he isn't gifted in that area. She's a point guard and played 3 1/2 quarters tonight; he played 1 quarter. She gets straight A's and he is not that great at school. She has four best friends and is friends with almost all of the other girls in the class plus those two amazing basketball boys, and he constantly has friendship troubles.

So that's why I told her not challenge him or name call. Just leave it be. And that's why I said to my friend "Well, there are two sides to every story." And maybe one day they will be friends again. You never know, right?




Paying the Giant Tax Bill

February 22nd, 2017 at 11:53 pm

First, the reason for the giant tax bill:
Despite the fact that I paid extra each month for FWH and we paid estimated taxes, we ended up owing money. The wild card every year is how much profit my business makes. Because my business is an S-corp, we pay the tax on the profit as part of our personal taxes, even if I keep the profit in the business.

I did our taxes with and without the business profit, and with the profit, we end up paying just about the amount of the additional tax we owe.

So my plan is to take a distribution from my business (from the profit I guess) to pay the tax bill.

Now I have to think about 2017 estimated taxes and how to pay those. I think a combination of withdrawing money from our Irish account (since that accounts for some of the tax not covered by FWH) and a couple of small distributions from my business. The rest is from the money that D sets aside in an account for his income from side businesses (he's a children's photographer on the side).

Some Mortgage Progress, and are you watching/reading anything for free?

February 20th, 2017 at 12:08 am

A few things to report:

- I sold an old coat at consignment back in January; I was able to pick up the payment a couple of days ago. That's another $38 toward mortgage principal.

- Our mortgage payment went down (for escrow; I have no idea how they calculate that), but we left it the same. And extra $5.21 toward principal each month.

- Our team bought the basketball coach and assistant coach gift certificates (we got a certificate for the local bike shop which is owned by a mutual friend for the coach - who shops there a lot! - and starbucks for the assistant). The bike shop is next to one grocery store I go to, and the starbucks is next to the other; as you can tell, I bought the certificates. One of the moms said she'd give me her share at the party last night. She didn't and I was freaking out that I'd have to cover her, but she emailed and apologized and said she'd bring it to school on Tuesday. Phew!

- Got a new book (free, epub book of course) - the first in the Chronicles of St. Mary's series. I'm a couple of chapters in, and I like it so far. A time travel book.

- Dinner tonight is a socca (chickpea flour and courgette pancake with red onion topping).

- We owe $14,636 on the mortgage.

- I am watching Just Add Magic with F on Amazon Prime. It's a really cute show, if you have a tween, I recommend it. I like it too, but I'm sort of immature.

Are you reading or watching anything for free right now?

A Simple Day

February 16th, 2017 at 12:17 am

I forgot to take my allergy medicine today - ooops! - and realized it in the middle of the day when I was so tired. Allergies make me tired. So I didn't get a lot done today at work.

But I did do a few important things:
- came up with a floor plan for the police dept. I'm working on. The chief LOVED it, so it's a go.
- gave a price to the contractor I work with. I aimed high; he can talk me down (a little). Or maybe he won't.
- Other misc. work stuff ilke emails and dropping off a deposit check to an HOA that the owner sent to me rather than to the accountant.
- Almost finished our taxes. We owe. It makes me want to throw up. The reason: profit on my business which I have to declare on our personal taxes (Sched. K) but I leave the profit in my business. So I am going to take a distribution to pay the taxes.
- Re-did my monthly cash flow for F's tuition for the next two years to make sure we can pay for school. We need to have the mortgage paid off by October in order to make this work.

My co-worker said "Why don't your parents pay for F's tuition?" Ha, ha, ha!!! But seriously, he's not the first person to ask me that. My parents are retired; they have a nice fixed retirement income, but it's still fixed. And they very kindly fly us out to see them twice a year, which are nice vacations for us. My mom gives me $2,000 for the annual tuition deposit. They are so good to us! But they can't just pay for school!

Tomorrow is the school skiing outing. I left it up to F if she wanted to go or not; I didn't tell her I'd have to come up with $150 out of thin air. (Or more realistically, a little bit out of several budget categories). She doesn't want to go, and I think we'll go x-c skiing together instead, then meet the class at the Lodge for lunch. I'm looking forward to hanging out with F tomorrow! But I'll bring my own lunch (the food up there is gross).

Tonight - next to last basketball game. The girls are amazing! I'm so proud of them. I need to talk to the parents about getting something for the coach to give him at our party this Saturday. Any suggestions? I thought maybe a voucher to a restaurant he and his wife like?

The Coming Week

February 12th, 2017 at 07:13 pm

Every Sunday (always before noon, because you can't sell alcohol in our state until noon, so the stores are quieter), I do my grocery shopping and get gas (even if the tank is not empty so I start the week with a full tank). I really don't spend anything during the week. Weekends are my spend time.

So, I need to get up and get going, but I'm lazing around with my laptop.

The meal plan this week is:
S - tortilla espanola with chipotle mayo and salad
M - soccer practice night - risotto with peas and sundried tomatoes
T - game night - crockpot roast chicken, rice, broccoli
W - game - freezer with salad
T - game - fishburgers, chips, roasted brussels sprouts
F - soccer practice night - socca with courgettes and red onion

Our food budget is my best way to save money... most of our other costs are pretty fixed.

Yesterday, F's basketball team got together at her friend K's house to play 3 v 3 and just have fun. F wants to shoot 500 (!!!!) left-handed layups today. She can do that at our hoop at home or we can go to the park if she wants to get out. (The coach has said that F is definitively a left-handed player; there was some confusion, and there has been in every sport she's played).

Tomorrow I have to drive down to Edgewood (1.25 hrs away which for here is FAR)... but it's for a new project, so YAY!

We're going to owe money for our taxes which makes me sort of grumpy. I need to just finish up the taxes, though, so I can stop thinking about it. And I still have to do our Fbar (disclosing our foreign bank account).

This coming week: 3 day school week... so I need to get busy!

Taken out to Lunch!

February 10th, 2017 at 05:14 pm

I had a meeting yesterday with another architect. I'd referred her for a project, and she took me out to lunch, which was unexpected and really nice!

I am still going to PT once a week, and I have to say it's helping! Most days I don't even feel my back at all. Which is the way it should be! Actually, reminds me I've been sitting here for over an hour. I need to go do 5 min. of stretching.

I'm back. I'm not just doing cobra stretches anymore, but also some stability exercises.

Other things going on:
- I am still helping the 6th grade with their treehouse project. I bought the wood posts myself, but I'll be reimbursed. Need to place the rest of the order early next week. I have another parent who will help me cut everything.

- I am still waiting for my airbag to be replaced. Ugh.

- Outdoor soccer practice started this week. Basketball is continuing. So it's a lot of sports right now!

- F finished her application for 7th grade and submitted it in early January. She just took the math placement test. We should hear in mid-March if she got in or not. Pretty sure she'll get in, though.

- Mortgage is at $14827. But we have a big tax bill coming up. Otherwise I would attack it relentlessly! So....I guess no tax refund to use to pay down mortgage.

- Got a check today for one of the subdivisions I work with. I like to end the week with a check!