Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Day in the Life

Spent most of the late morning and early afternoon at H & R Block. I had to run home for the boys' social security numbers and that added 30 minutes (my error - I should have thought to have them on me). The first draft had me owing around $700.00. But redoing the numbers with another exemption brought it down to owing nothing, thank goodness, the first time since my husband's death that I am not paying the IRS in April! H & R Blocked charged me $349.00, I thought it would be less. I delayed paying them and having the taxes transmitted because the due date is still a month off. I'll wait until I receive my first paycheck next week - it will only be for a couple hundred dollars but right now I am fearful of running my small checking account balance down and overdrafting. I would rather be safe than sorry. At least I know that the damage isn't going to involve owing the IRS money that I don't have. That is a blessing.

The cold/flu thing I have is still with me concentrated in my sinus area and chest. I have to cough and my voice is hoarse. But I am better, on the mend I would say.

I made the boys go to the free dental clinic they had at the school, which is available to all students regardless of income. The first thing my youngest said when I picked him up from track was "I am never going to that dental clinic again." He disclosed that he was the only non-minority of the 10 kids there. He also said that he does not think my oldest went and will blow it off. The boys have not seen their dentist since last April so I thought it would be a good idea for them to go. It was at the school and I talked with the nurse about the boys being embarrassed. We'd arranged that they would see her for passes so they wouldn't have to be called out of their classes. I just figured it was worth getting done because it was free and would avoid me having to take them in the future and wait for future appointments, etc.

My son's comments upset me - I feel for him. Luckily, he does not need any work done (he got a cleaning). We are the family that had to move to the other side of the tracks. This can't have been easy for my boys. If they rode the bus to school, they would be the only non-minority kids riding. I'm not sure how to process that. Does it make our situation worse to now live in a community where we have become the minority? I have no problems or complaints about our neighbors but I do understand my sons' wariness about riding the bus. They want to avoid trouble and I suppose also want to avoid feeling embarrassed. I feel kind of crappy that I forced my sons (at least one) to go to the dental clinic. I thought it made sense, was worth it and helpful to me besides. Anyway, at least I don't have to worry about getting one of them to the dentist now. I wish I could have gone - you can bet I would have taken advantage of a free cleaning as it has been almost a year for me too.

What I keep being reminded of is that my boys have been deeply touched by my husband's death. In some good ways and in some bad. I continue to feel hurt for them that so few people have ever really stopped to think about how this experience has impacted them. That old cliche "Kids are resilient" doesn't stand muster with me. I have come to believe that kids can be very wounded too. They don't bounce back as easily as we may want to believe.

I needed to stop to pick up something for dinner when I got my youngest. He complained that he did not want to wait for me to even run into the store quickly, agreeing to eat a BLT sandwich tonight with soup since I have those items on hand. I still needed to run into the store for two small tomatoes and to get money for the laundry card. Then I had to fill my little sedan up with some gas. The mileage is great - $20.00 fills the tank and lasts a month!

My son then got annoyed with me and I had to listen to his complaints about my not having signed him up for driver's ed yet - he is 15. He was supposed to register for it at school but did not. Now it will cost me $400.00 or so to get him signed up at a local driving school. While he badgered me with the fact that I love my older son more, I was frantically thinking about the H & R Block bill due, the 4 tires I need to replace on the car, the auto insurance due in mid-April and the fact that I still need to come up with the remaining $400.00 owed my bankruptcy attorney. I was getting irritated at my son, short and snippy but at the same time felt sorry for him because he went to the dental clinic so I didn't want to bash him. But still...

We get home and I realize I have forgotten to pick up bath tissue yet again from the store. I run back out to put $10.00 on the laundry card so I can wash towels tonight, of which there have not been any clean ones in the past few days. The boys go through them like no tomorrow and I am considering hiding them and rationing them out. It is too expensive to be washing as many loads of laundry that I do weekly now and the machines here do not wash or dry particularly well. And I hate having to drag everything down to the laundry room - it is so dirty in there. I really do miss the huge, extra large capacity washer and dryer I had when I lived in my home.

So there is my day and I am tired. I am not sure if it is because I am still recovering from the flu/cold thing I had, or getting the taxes was emotionally draining or the prospect of doing laundry depresses me. But I feel drawn out and not looking forward to fixing even the simple BLT sandwiches on the menu.

I am grateful:

1. The taxes were done - not the most pleasant job to get done.
2. That I do not owe any taxes.
3. That my youngest (at least one out of the two) doesn't need any future dental work.
4. I am feeling a bit better, slowly but surely.
5. There is food for dinner, gas for the cars, electricity for the appliances.


  1. I guess if he was the only non-minority kid, then he was in the minority? Glad he got his teeth cleaned, glad he had no cavities. Glad you owe the IRS nada--I do this year and it ticks me off and I am having trouble figuring out where to get the money--with less than a month to go. It just never ends, does it?

  2. Suggestion and I don't even know if it is viable but here goes.....If you have the print out from H and R Block, go to and check out the turbo tax. You can do it online and see what number you come up with there. If it matches the other one it'll cost you less than $50 to send it electronically. I use Turbotax every year and so far it has found every deduction possible. I figure it might be worth a try since it does not cost a thing until you are ready to send.

    So sorry about the boys and the dental clinic. Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do and this would be one of those trade offs for getting to stay at their school. Now about driver's it being offered again next semester? Was it HIS responsibility to sign himself up? $400 is a LOT of money to all of us right now. If I read you right you are just like me. You want to give the kids everything you can and will go without to do it. But this might need to be one of those 'teaching' moments that show him it was his responsibility to sign himself up so you wouldn't have to shell out $400 you don't have and he knows it. If it is available next semester then I would suggest making him sign up and wait to take it. While it would be wonderful for him to get his license early, then you are going to run into extra insurance and the eventual "Mom I need a car" discussion. And don't ya love how they play the 'you love him more than me' card? Mine do it all the time. Joey was very surprised last time when I told him "I love you both equally but I don't like either of you very much at this moment". Funny.......I got an apology shortly thereafter. Kids.
    Oh and is it written somewhere in the kid handbook that a towel can only be used once??? It must be cuz mine will move mountains to make sure they don't have to use it a second time. Like it's contaminated or something?!?
    BTW...I don't even remember the last time *I* got to go to the dentist and yet mine complain every time. I MUST be missing something here, lol!
    Hang in there least we're not in the boat alone!

  3. I was wondering if your kids might get after-school jobs. Both of mine worked when they were in high school My daughter worked at a veterinary clinic, even claned cages. She's now the attending vet at Baylor College of Medicine. My son worked in the camera department of a discount store. Funny, I remember he was responsible for buying most of his own clothes with money he earned, but not, for some reason I forget, his shoes. It was good experience for both of them.
    Maybe your kids earning even a little money for themselves would help you out. I hope I'm not treading on your toes by posting this. I just worry about you and your family.

  4. Thelma - My boys will be umping this summer with the Little League. My oldest tried all last summer to find work to no avail - and he is a pretty handsome, hardworking nice kid. Even I could not get hired last year at any of the fast food places I applied at. You are not stepping on toes.

    Unfortunately, I picked up an application my youngest asked for at the local pool too late (Feb.). They'd already hired back most of the college kids that worked there last year in December and weren't taking any more high school kids. So both of my boys have expressed strong desire in working.

    I think the umping will help out and they'll be great at it. It'll start in early-April. From what I heard last summer, a lot of the high school and college kids could not find work. So I am glad the boys went through the required training to ump. Other kids won't be so lucky.

    Jude - Gosh, I am so sorry you owe the IRS. Can you get an extension to file and pay if money is tight?

    Both boys got their teeth checked and cleaned (both no cavities). But my oldest complained about the lack of privacy - he said my youngest was being worked at right by the window of the door and all the students were looking at him as they walked by. Both boys seem to have recovered and have bounced back. It is good they are popular because I think they'll be less likely to get teased.

    Kelly - Yes, my son should have registered at school for drivers ed and didn't. Right now that is the absolute least of my worries. The boys got to stay here to go to school and knew it would be very, very tight. When my youngest talked about not getting any Christmas gifts he amended that and said he did figure his gift was being able to remain at his school and not move. One reason I am sweating bullets this month is that I put my oldest back on the car insurance and have to pay $300.00 more! I don't even want to guess what it will be when my youngest is added too.

    I didn't get a print out from H&R Block but will consider what you suggested with Turbotax. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

  5. Umping is a GREAT job for our athletic boys! Joey is starting to do it this year as well. The pay is fairly good and there are so many games in Little League they never have enough umps. Good for them!!