Thursday, February 22, 2018

The taxes are done

It is pretty much a wash this year. We will get a little over $100 from federal and a few dollars from the state. I was actually surprised - last year we got a huge refund and I didn't think we had done much differently this year. I compared returns and we did earn a little more, though not much. The biggie, though, was the medical deductions. Last year, we had north of $40,000 in medical. This year, it was only about $20,000. (I can't believe I can put an "only" before $20,000!)

I have already noticed a change in the paycheck with the new tax reform. It makes me nervous as I don't want to have an unpleasant surprise this time next year. There are too many unknowns. My tax guy (my Dad!) advises that I continue to keep meticulous records for deductions even though it's possible that the changed standard deduction means we won't have to itemize next go-round. We've been itemizing for all of the 32 years we've been married, so that's a change I'm going to have to get used to. 

The upside of doing the taxes early is that the refund hit our account in 6 days. Too bad it wasn't more!


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

We're home

DS was released from the hospital last night. He is far from well, but is stable and we have all the equipment here that they do at the hospital. Well, except for one. A suction machine is to be delivered sometime today - until now we have successfully avoided using that particular piece.

The diagnosis was bacterial pneumonia and atelectasis. Pretty standard stuff for him that can quickly wreak havoc on his compromised system. He was in isolation at the hospital because of all the flu and viruses in that place. I don't know who is happier to be home - him or me.

I've spent this morning trying to catch up in between his treatments. I did run out and buy some groceries. I am craving real food after a few days of hospital fast food. Yuck.

Now if I could only remember what day it is - it feels like Monday. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised when Friday arrives sooner than I expect!


PS My Dad has recovered and is doing great! Thank you for all the concern for both of my guys!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

My disinfectant failed me ...

DS is in the hospital. He acted better yesterday but this morning his oxygen levels fell too low and he said his chest hurt to breathe. By the time we got to the hospital, his fever was well over 104 and his 02 levels scary low. Quick flu test was negative, but they gave him Tamiflu anyway and have sent off the full test. Lots of bloodwork and chest x-rays. I'm so thankful they were proactive today and started antibiotics before any test results were back. Tonight he is looking much better. I'm hoping we can go home tomorrow as I don't like all the germs swirling around this place. Our sweet older son and his girlfriend dropped off dinner for us, which was wonderful.

Not the way we wanted to kick off the year, but we are so very grateful for excellent health care.


Friday, February 2, 2018

And here we go ...

We finally cracked the $50k mark on our debt load!! This feels like a big mental win. I sure hope it holds. And it's what I needed today. DS is sick - doesn't look like the flu, but with his special needs could quickly morph into pneumonia so I'm in hyper Mom mode. Plus, I just got a call from my Mom saying that my Dad became very sick during the night. She's taking him in this morning to get a flu test. At his age and with a pre-existing heart condition, it's a scary prospect. My knees are already worn out from praying for health for our family's two most vulnerable members.

Off to Lysol something. And maybe do a happy debt dance while I'm at it!


Monday, January 1, 2018

And on to 2018!

2017 was filled with ups and downs, but mostly it was a good year. We spent time together as a family, we enjoyed seeing the world through the eyes of our first grandbaby, we loved watching our children forge ahead in their adult lives and mostly we appreciated our many blessings. Life is hard, but it is also wonderful.

On the financial side, I didn't quite make my goal of seeing our debt fall below $50k. I came close, though, and it will happen soon. We wrapped up the year having knocked $15,030.41 off our debt. If you ever wondered what the tortoise looks like in the tortoise and the hare story, just look at us!

Here's to another good year and here's to coming closer to the end of the debt road.

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Another one bites the dust!

As promised, the Capital One card is history before the close of 2017!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Sunday, November 12, 2017


I'm still here! I seriously do not know how two months have passed since my last post, except that life has been moving along at breakneck speed.

What's happened around here lately:

- We hired an attorney who last week sent a letter to DS's lending company detailing how the wire fraud originated on their end because of their lax practices and setting out the expectation that they reimburse DS. Hoping that settles this, but not counting on it.

- Younger DS received the first-ever treatment for his disease. It was supposed to be given via spinal injection, but his spine is fused and there was no opening. The doctor was able to successfully dose him by going in through his neck. DS is already reporting a noticeable increase in energy levels so we are praying he continues to see progress. Unfortunately, the treatment is not a one-time thing. We head back for #2 the week after next. Very thankful insurance is covering it in full. The medicine alone is $125,000 a pop.

- Insurance screwed up payment for his wheelchair so I had to file an appeal. Again. At least we have the chair now.

- DS's optometrist's office filed with the wrong insurance for his last visit. Straightening that out has been more trouble than it should be.

- Between treatments, PT and various specialist visits, we have 13 trips to the hospital scheduled between now and the end of the year.

- I have a cracked tooth. It was determined last week that it can't be saved so I need to have it extracted. Insurance will cover the cost, but the oral surgeon requires payment upfront and then they file insurance for me. Waiting to hear the amount I will have to come up with - even though temporarily. The only bright side of this is that it is the very last tooth in the back of my mouth, so I don't have to run out and get an implant to keep me from scaring small children when I smile.

- My knees are giving out, too. For now, cortisone shots seem to be doing the trick - I had two of them last week. Knee replacement is in my future, but my surgeon wants to wait a few years as long as the shots are giving me relief. Good thing, I sure don't have time for that.

- My granddaughter is 10 months old and keeping me on my toes. I keep her while my daughter works and I now understand why God gives us babies when we are young. I used to think nothing of this when I had 3 little ones. At 54, not so much.

- I have finished Christmas shopping. We only buy for the kids and gift cards for my parents, so it's manageable. All paid in cash.

- I will be hosting 13 for Thanksgiving. I've farmed out most of the dishes and I just saw that the grocery store has turkeys for 37 cents a pound, so I'll be heading over there tomorrow.

- Not much else to talk about on the finance front. I'm close to paying off a Capital One card. It will be done by the end of the year. So yay. DH is planning to retire in 8 years, so it's getting real. We need to get rid of everything before then. Keeping the faith ...