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11 April 2019 @ 10:55 am
Totes McVotes  
It's the last day to vote in this week's LJ Idol poll! The numbers are really close, and it looks like we clearly need more readers to decide the outcome rather than friends/family from Facebook and the like. The poll is here. Please read and vote for your favorites!

So, there was the windy bike ride on Tuesday, then a rest-day yesterday (while the bike was in the shop). Our forecast is also listing winds with gusts up to 24 mph today, though only (!) 17 mph tomorrow. Augh! We're transitioning into Spring late here, after all those recurring rainstorms, but these windy days are typical. What a pain-- they typically continue randomly through the end of May, about when the heat starts spiking up. Really, the best riding season here is Fall. :(

Still planning to go out today, though. :O

In Spring blooming news, it looks like both of the houses on my morning commute got rid of their wisteria, which is too bad. There's still a big patch of it coming over a retaining wall along the freeway, and more at another house I only see on the way home. Western Redbud is everywhere, including along the parkway (and it's purple, despite the name). Smelled and saw some municipal Scotch Broom on Tuesday's ride, which reminds me that I'm SO glad I don't have allergies. I have chronic rhinusitis, which has a similar effect on my nose (year-round, to boot!), but no allergies. My mother is desperately allergic to Scotch Broom...

I'm starting to seriously worry about getting our taxes done. I filed several amended returns last year (fixes for TurboTax's bugs regarding Coverdell Education savings accounts). We owed more federal tax for those prior years, but got additional state refunds. Now I'm having to work through Publication 525 worksheets for 3 fiscal years, and attempting to figure out what "recoveries and reimbursements from Schedule A" means. ALL of Schedule A? The state/property/personal tax part of Schedule A? The H&R Block tax software is showing some huge amount of state tax refunds I owe money on now, and the numbers aren't right, so I'm clearly doing something wrong. But their software doesn't help me with that. And there seem to be new questions about life- and disability-insurance benefits, where you can purchase more as part of an employee group plan. Now you're supposed to pro-rate those additional benefits as 'income'? I guess? Thanks, Trump! :(

I suspect TurboTax would have sucked in my info from prior returns to compute those Publication 525 worksheets, or at least talked me through it. Gah. I may wind up buying it anyway, and starting over. :(

It's the last weekend to sort this stuff out... Even if I file for an extension, I would have to do a state tax return, which depends on the federal returns, so that's no good. :O

Muriellemurielle on April 11th, 2019 09:05 pm (UTC)
Beautiful Wisteria! I was googling images of all the flowers you mentioned. Never heard of Scotch Broom. Looks a bit like Honey Suckle. Had never heard of Western Redbud either, so the added photo was much needed. Sounds like you have a lovely ride route. :-)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 11th, 2019 09:34 pm (UTC)
Wisteria is gorgeous! I wish its blooming cycle weren't so short here-- it probably does better in cooler, wetter climates.

Scotch Broom is considered an invasive species in some areas, which is kind of a surprise to me. You can buy it in nurseries here, thought I think it prefers a wetter climate (it's dry and hot here in the summer, which keeps a lot of plants in line. Or in pain...) But it's pretty, and since we used to have one outside my bedroom in Portland, I would recognize that smell anywhere-- 42 years later! :O
jake67jakejake67jake on April 13th, 2019 06:02 pm (UTC)
If you want/need help on the taxes, I'm here. This year is a bitch regarding the Drump changes.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on April 14th, 2019 04:51 am (UTC)
Thank you-- that is so sweet of you!

I think I finally got the Pub 525 worksheet figured out-- in part by downloading the versions for 2016 and 2017, so that I could remove the "2017" confusion from "prior tax years" on the 2018 version. And read some online examples/discussions of that publication.

I came up with values to enter int H&R Block's software that resulted in "Most but not all of the total return $$ received in 2018 are taxable," which was what I expected.

And then I went and bought TurboTax anyway, because that was two weeks of grief in and around work and writing for Idol!

jake67jakejake67jake on April 14th, 2019 09:46 pm (UTC)
OK! If you are still not sure of yourself (and after Idol), can always look and see if an amendment is in order.

And yeah, it sounds like, "most but not all" is going to be the right answer (with the vague info you've posted... lol).