It’s official – I am certified!

No! Not crazy, why would you say that?

I passed my test so that I am a certified tax preparer through the AARP Tax-Aide program.  Now the fun will begin!

Training went pretty well, given all the stuff we had to cram into one week – I think this is my 9th or 10th year, and it does grow easier each year to recall all the little rules, but I wonder how a new volunteer feels as things are blasted at them in such a short time?  Thankfully, they are not left alone to do taxes, we all help each other and check each other’s work. Next year it will all feel new, though, as the IRS is changing their tax prep software program.  Across the board. Every bit of it. So this year is the last year of feeling some comfort that I know what the heck I am doing.  Next year, I will just know how it is supposed to come out, not how to make it happen.  But that is a long way away.  🙂

I didn’t get as much knitting done as I would have normally in training.  For one thing, I opted against a circular needle hat, and went with a WIP I have had around for a while  – is scarf.  I made really good progress on it, though, several inches, so I feel good about that.  But I was a small group leader every afternoon, and small group leaders teaching computer skills don’t have much time for knitting, lol.  However, it seems, after all these years, I have a reputation, and many volunteers, male and female stopped to ask me what I was working on, to share tales of their own knitting experience or fond memories of a family member knitting.  Also, since it is January in Maine, and we are in what I hope is the coldest room at Husson University for our training, I wore many knitted things that week – socks, sweaters, shawls, even necklaces and bracelets.  I got many compliments, and “you MADE that?” comments during the week.  So it was a good week, fiber-wise.  🙂

The other thing I love about tax training week is lunch break. I haven’t changed a bit since kindergarten, right?  More specifically, it is lunch that I like.  We eat in the student community room, and get our food at the lunch bar, named Cressy’s.  They have the best freshly made sandwiches, burgers, etc.  The ladies are fun to chat with, and invent delicious daily specials.  It is a highlight of the week.  Actually, whenever I can get organized to get there a bit early, I go there for breakfast, too.  Niece B, a student there, turned me on to their omelets – delicious.  And everything is very affordable… I look forward to it all year long.  And no, I never seem to go there any other time of the year, even though it is open and I could. It is a special tax training thing.

But now it is behind us, I passed the test and am good to go forth and prepare taxes in my spare time.

Yes, I guess I might be crazy after all.

unable to determine the Friday list at this time

Mother Nature is making me sad today.

I am supposed to be doing taxes in Southwest Harbor today. I have a cold that slammed into me yesterday.

We were supposed to have a major snow storm last night. I was glad. I would not have to decide the whole do I go or not? issue.

It snowed for a while, then it rained. So far I have not seen the Southwest Harbor Library on the cancellation list. Lots of schools are closed, even the high school down there.

So, when my tax boss calls to let me know the plan for the day, I have to be ready with my answer as it pertains to my health.

My only other hope is that he got a ton of snow and ice and needs to stay home to clean it up. He is much farther inland than we are…

So, this Valentine’s Day I will either spend it helping the good folks of SW Harbor complete their tax returns, or I will spend it on the couch with tissues and knitting.

A has the day off, so we have a rare long weekend together, once I resolve this Friday issue. I love when she and I have the same holidays off. She gets so few, and I often have to be writing grants for deadlines, this is a rare treat.

Where did the weekend go?

Shortest weekend of my year – taxes for twelve hours (including drive time) on Friday, then ten hours on Saturday. It felt good to sleep until 8 today. 🙂

Had a really sad experience Saturday – helped a young man and his fiance prepare their tax return, which included declaring a tiny deceased baby as a dependent. The couple was so fragile, and were very unsure how to go about doing this. I was so glad to be able to help. Sent them on their way with all their papers, efiled the return. Shortly thereafter it came back as a reject. Someone had claimed their baby boy! Regular old identity theft is bad enough but this is just cruel. I had to call them back in, give them all the info they needed to call the IRS, prepare to file a paper return. I know that they will now have to fill out a police report, and deal with a whole lot of other red tape. Just what they need. It put a damper on my whole day.

So. the other exciting news in our house is that Tigger barely survived eating one of her toys. I noticed she wasn’t eating much last week, but really thought it was that she either missed A, or had a little bug. But Thursday when she was weak and sad, following me everywhere while I got ready for work, I got nervous. So, I dropped her at the vet, and went to work. Dr. Hunt called to say he suspected some kind of blockage, and could he give her barium then x-ray her?

Absolutely.

He did, and called me back. Definite blockage, the barium was still almost all in her throat after 2 hours! So, she had surgery Friday, and they pulled out one piece of foam rubber and manipulated a smaller one down into her colon so it could go naturally. Her intestines were inflamed but not dead, so that was good. Over $500 and two days later we have her home again. She has a special food which she won’t eat, we are to keep her quiet – how? She is keeping herself quiet for the time being. Here’s hoping she will heal nicely and pass the last bit on her own. Of course, Allie Cat and Zumba were under the impression that she was gone for good, and we are now at square one, as if the last 7 months of acclimating cats had never happened. Allie hid in the cellar for two days(so far). Zumba hisses each time she sees Tigger. We hope it will get better when Tigg finishes cleaning the smell of the hospital off of herself, but who knows? Anyway, all those fun foam squares are in the trash, and she will not be getting any more.

tigger home again

Knitting: not much progress – tax days were busy, but I managed a round or two each day on socks. I plan to finish this pair today so that I can star the next one. 🙂 The vest comes along slowly, I amended the pattern so that instead of three pieces, I am knitting it all at once. this makes the rows really long. But, no sewing at the end!

Necklace number 2 is nearly done, just need to knit the i-cord and sew on the clasp. If I finish the sock in a reasonable time tonight, I will then work on that, otherwise, it will get done this week.

Red sweater – it took a WEEK to dry! That is some bulky yarn. 🙂 I plan to add it to the wardrobe this coming week, I think it will be cold enough.

I also got up into the craft room today with Allie Cat and made some valentines. The out-of-state ones need to be mailed tomorrow if they are to get delivered in time. The Maine ones can get mailed later in the week, so I will work on those this week, too. Photos to share at the end of the week, don’t want to spoil anyone’s surprise.

tax hats

Each year as I go through my AARP Tax-Aide tax training, I knit. The volunteer who trains us says he doesn’t care, and I find it helps me focus. Since we have lecture in the morning, and practice on the computers in the afternoon, I get a solid 3-4 hours of knitting in. That’s enough for a simple hat, so I set myself a goal of a hat a day during tax training. I met this goal again this year, and here they are.

The Tax Hats!
The Tax Hats!
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