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Showing posts from February, 2015

Taxes, you hurt me real(ly) bad(ly).

As far as income tax refunds go, I know most financial planners will tell you that your goal should be to get nothing back, because otherwise the government is keeping your money. I agree with that sentiment for people who have credit card debt. It does seem silly not to not pay down more of that debt each month. But my feelings have changed (and changed again) over the years. 

About seven or eight years ago, I thought the hubby and I were getting too much money back in our tax refund. I decided I would rather have a larger paycheck and then be able to put more money into savings. So I changed my withholdings (or whatever that is called) from 0 or 1 to 3, plus I even had extra taken out each month. I figured/hoped we would end up with well under 1k in a refund, and I was cool with that.

But the funny thing was that for many years, we never got anywhere close to that small of a refund. Some years we did well enough that we were able to do some home improvements (windows one year, tub …

In defense of the pit bull

As regular blog readers know (and at this point, I think there might just be two of you), my family said goodbye to our beloved pit bull mix Sadie, a few months ago.

Since then, three months and almost two weeks later, I still miss her. I can honestly say that I probably have not gone more than a week without tearing up. But, to be fair, I cry over silly things.

When we adopted Sadie, we were not sure we were going to have kids, so the fact that Sadie was partially a pit bull did not concern me. And, honestly, when I first saw her, I did not know that was her dominant breed. But once we knew I was pregnant with J, I started to worry. Back then, there was not social media, but there was still the internet, so I did occasionally read about pit bull maulings.

I very clearly remember my first day home alone with J. She was a week old, and my mom, who had been staying with us, and my husband both headed back to work. I was freaking out to begin with, just being a new mother. But having a …

The hope and reminder of spring

Other than a couple of days here and there, I am convinced that snow has been on the ground for several months here in the Burgh. I am sure some statistician or weather person would tell me otherwise, but to me, it just seems as if we have had snow for a long time. However, I chose to live here; I could have moved slightly south, which was my intention about 22 years ago, so I try not to complain too much about it. And really, compared to many people around these parts, I rant very little about the weather (well, cold temps and snow, that is).

I just can't see myself living in a place where it never snows, and I particularly have no desire to live where it is hot and humid for many months. I appreciate the changing of the seasons. There is just something about the various colors and stages of growth we see throughout the year.

Sure, this time of year there is a lot of gray. Trees are bare. When you actually see the grass, most of it is brown. But a trip to Phipps, one of my favor…

On the bright side of education

So I see it has been over a month since I last blogged. As per usual, I wrote a couple of posts in my head. I am pretty sure I did not write a post after having a mini panic attack a few weeks ago. I woke up early a few Mondays ago and just started to fret about so many things. I was alternating between sobbing and something else. At one point, I was not even sure I could breath. I was quite upset. But strangely that feels like a lifetime ago, fortunately (you can't keep an optimistic down for too long, I guess).

I blame part of my blogging absence on the state of the world. There is just so much bad news. So many sad, frustrating, and/or anger-inducing stories out there. Particularly, there is too much violence and hatred. Sometimes within miles of where I live (see Monroeville Mall shooting).

But I wanted to share something that caused me to smile. Something that gives me hope.

A couple of weeks ago, a woman I went to grade school with posted on Facebook that she received a phon…