1. The Finishing Touch?

All is right with the world, again. My first-world problem of a minor setback in getting use out of my posh backyard shed’s cooling system was recently rectified. The mini split AC/heating system is working as intended, with the 240V breaker installed and properly wired. Many thanks to local friend Eric Gross, who came over and did the job himself for free. Dare I say—landscaping notwithstanding—the shed is totally complete. There are no major items left to add. But that backyard as a whole… oof. It needs serious work.

So… c-c-c-cold!

2. Fare Thee Well, Neighbors!

The nerve of some people! Our neighbors and good friends the Plumpes have moved off our street to a nicer home in Austin. It was amazing how often we would open the door and see them outside and one thing would lead to another and we’d wind up hanging out at one house or the other til late at night. The Plumpes would often try to go for a family walk and wind up getting no further than our house before the girls ran inside to play with Edie. It sure was convenient!

3. 1-5

It’s our seventh baseball game this morning, and the Rockies are in a rut. We’ve lost 4 games in a row, but have always been right in every game. We’re losing by exactly 2 runs almost every time. It’s coach-pitch, and the kids are supposed to be able to strike out. But the rule allowing a tee to be used after three swings and misses keeps returning, and we’ve only played one game with the strikeout rule. I think that’s hurting us, because this team’s strength is making good contact, and our weakness is defense. If we can just keep the other team off the bases, we should have a good chance! John has been irate with me for “not fielding competitive lineups”. Well, son, we have to be fair, too. These are 6 and 7-year-olds.

4. Remodel Quote

Over a year after we started down the home remodel path, we finally received our first quote, and it was jarring, to say the least. Material costs are through the roof, plus it’s Austin where builders are booked up forever. Our idea was to knock down some walls and greatly open up and transform the kitchen, create a utility room, walk-in pantry, and storage room; update all the bathrooms, add a big window in the dining room, do all the siding, windows, garage doors, sliding glass doors, etc. Some of this stuff absolutely needs to be done one way or the other. Let’s just say these updates cost well beyond what we paid for the entire house 10 years ago! We will have to make some serious cuts to the plans.

5. Taxes

I waited until the deadline to file our taxes because I was sick to find out how much we’d owe the IRS this year. For at least the 15th year in a row, I/we had to pay in thousands. I still don’t get it. Virtually everyone else I know in a similar situation pays in only a little, or gets a refund. There’s no two ways about it, we must be doing something wrong or not withholding enough.