Bold Choices

It’s been almost three weeks since my last post.  Yada, yada, yada.  The following is a mish-mosh that could have been three different posts, but whatever.

It was a helluva move.  In the rain.  With waaaay too much crap.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

I’ve already decided  that next time (and remember, next time could be in as little as 2 years!) I’m going to get rid of all my crap and only move my grandmother’s antique bedroom furniture and 2 other boxes per person.

Okay, not really.  But I’m going to get rid of a LOT of crap.  Promise.

So, the move itself was awful, but with the help of wonderful friends and family we got it done.  And we’re here.  Yay!!!!!

Now there’s the unpacking and arranging and more painting and picture hanging.

And there’s been new furniture buying (leather couch, chair and ottoman) and new grill buying (our old one was disintegrating) and various and sundry other large expenditures (service contract for the renters of our old place, insurance policy on the old place).  I don’t like large expenditures.  They make me itchy.

And there’s paint color to choose.

And choose we have.  The house was painted in varying colors of white and eggshell, with a little brown paneling for contrast.  We’ve made some very bold color choices – ones that may give my father (who really went out on a limb when he painted his new condo a very, very, very light tan) a coronary.  I’ve already told him about the bright green in Son’s room   (his response:  “Why?”).  The playroom is a buttery yellow – not that bold a choice, especially considering that 80%  of our last home  was painted the  exact same shade.

The guest room is a dusty green – bold only in that I bought 2 cans of different color oops paint (paint mistakes, sold at Home Depot for $5 a gallon) and gambled that they’d look okay combined.

The master bedroom is a goldish-camelish color, chosen in 5 seconds when I opened the color wheel at Home Depot.  Scary, that.  I was worried when I saw it in the can, but looooove it on the walls.

All of those will likely give my poor father angina.  But what’s really going to get him is the kitchen.

We’ve gone for a very orange-red Behr’s Volcanic Blast over the cabinets and on one small wall, and the very mossy-green Behr’s Herbal Garden on the adjoining walls.

Zowie!!!!

The orange-red is more orange than I hoped – likely partially because of the underlying semi-gloss paint.  Man, is it orange!  I’ve been worried, even considering getting it toned down a bit.

But no.  It looks terrific next to the green.  It’s bright and happy and bold.  All great ingredients for a kitchen.

Bold choices – moving, renting out our home, buying new furniture in a down economy, painting very saturated colors.

Scary choices.

Good choices.

Still, best have a chair ready when dad sees it.

Why I turned down Comcast cable, phone AND internet for $50 a month, but how you can get this deal!

We have been subscribers to Comcast for cable since we moved in, internet shortly thereafter.  We added phone service this past year.  At that  time we got what I thought was a great deal – $99 a month for six months.  That was less than I was paying for just cable and internet!  There was much rejoicing!

A few months ago that promotional rate ended, and I was in that icky place where we weren’t eligible for a promotional rate.  I had marked my calendar for the date when we could get a better rate again, and unhappily paid a bill that was $70  more per month.

When we decided to move I hoped we’d be able to move up our eligibility, given it was a new address.  I didn’t  really want to start a new account because our main email address is @Comcast, and it  would be a huge pain to change that.

I was in for a shock when I called Comcast.  They don’t serve the  city we’re moving to – the one about 10 miles west of where we are now.  Our new city is one of only two cities in our county that is not served by Comcast.  So, no new Comcast promo rate, no getting to keep our email addresses, no getting to keep our telephone number…

Ugh.

So it was with some trepidation that I contacted the cable company that serves the two lone wolf cities.  I was happily surprised to find out that we’ll have a few more channels, and we get the same $99 rate we used to have with Comcast.  And, we get that rate indefinitely.  So, I’ll be spending less again, for the foreseeable future.   Yay!!!

But what about that $50 rate in the title of this post?

Well.

I called Comcast the other day to cancel service, and though they attempted to talk me out of it they backed down when I explained that I would no longer be in a Comcast service area.  We scheduled the cancellation, made arrangements for the equipment  to be returned and that was that.  Or so I thought.

Yesterday there was a message on my machine from someone wanting to make me a special offer if I decided to keep Comcast.  Though keeping Comcast wasn’t  a possibility I didn’t ignore the call because I wanted to see what they would offer to entice me.  So I could share it with you.

You smart readers already know what the offer is.  $50 a month for cable, internet AND phone!!  For a year!!  I’m sure you also know how irked I am that I couldn’t get that rate to begin with.

But perhaps you can.  Perhaps you’d like to call and schedule a cancellation a few weeks away.  Perhaps you’ll get a call offering this super-dee-duper-doo-please-don’t-leave-us-or-the-stockholders-will-crap-a-brick rate, too.

Let me know if you get this great deal.  You can e-mail me at one of my all-new web based email addresses (I’m not going through changing main email addresses again.  Egad!).

And I shall save vicariously through you.

Where are all the renters?

We are about 30 days from moving and we don’t yet have a renter.

That makes me very, very nervous.

But how does one really advertise for a renter today?  I’m loathe to pay 10% of the rent to a realtor.  Craigslist is great, but there are over 1500 rental listings per day in our county!  Fifteen HUNDRED!

Does anyone read the classifieds anymore, or would  that $81 five-day listing be a complete waste of money?

We’ve put up a sign, but we are in a gated  community, so the only people who will see that are other residents, guests and service persons.

I live in a community that allows dogs up to 40 lbs, when most communities limit the weight to twenty.  That would be a great selling point, except that the only insurance I can find specifically excludes animal liability, meaning if that dog bit someone I’d be liable and have no coverage.  So, no dogs.

I wasn’t going to allow cats, either.  Not so much for the liability issue, but because I am horrifyingly allergic to the cute little critters and we may have to move back in after two years.    I decided tonight to allow cats, since a good friend advised me that I could get the carpets cleaned and I should be fine.

Nervous.  Soooooo nervous.

What about you?  Wouldn’t you like to relocate here to sunny Florida?  I can get you a great deal on a terrific place!!!

It’s not time to panic yet.  Not near time.

But there may come a time when I’ll take cats, dogs, snakes, or ferrets, as long as they have first, last and security.

So much to do!!!! Time for a breather…

Well.

This whole moving thing is making me quite busy!  There is so much to do – but the good thing is that I don’t have too little time.  We’ll likely not move until June 1st…

That of course doesn’t make me want to get everything done right away.  I’ve already chosen and bought most of the paint, bought  a dresser, headboard (that I will torn into a shelf) and desk on Craigslist for $40, where I also scored 8 of these brand new chairs for $5 apiece (did I mention there are 4 patios?!!?!!!)!

chairs1

I KNOW!

This is a very exciting time for our family.  Today we went over to  the house and Husband started prepping the walls for paint, not a stress-free experience.   Lots of ugly shelving, old and sticky shelving, painted-over unrepaired damage and inexplicable holes in the wall.   Thirty years of often-shoddy repair work means Husband was promising serious bodily harm to the unknown person or persons if their identity ever becomes known.

Me?   I started prepping the library – soon to be Son’s playroom – to be transformed from 70’s creep to kid-friendly chic:

31509-here-and-there-042

Son amused himself while I worked, and afterward I let him jump into the pool with all his clothes on. We had fun.

It’s important to me that we enjoy this process as much as possible, and take breathers when needed.   There is still lots to do, and I’ll blog about some of the stuff I’m going through, some of the deals I find and some of the challenges we face.

Won’t this be fun?!!!!

90% Well Done

This morning I went to use the microwave and noticed it was dirty. I cleaned it, then noticed that the electric can opener was, too (does anyone have one of these that works well? I never have!). I cleaned that and pretty soon there was no stopping the ball from gaining momentum on the way to completely tearing apart my kitchen. Three garbage bags, 1 large charity box and twelve cleaned and re-organized cabinets later my kitchen is just about ready to be shown. That’s good, since I have appointments with two realtors this week.

It’s hard for me to plan ahead for these things. When I think about a huge job like that I get so overwhelmed I don’t even want to begin. And lately I’ve been doing so much at my Dad’s old house that the thought of packing or cleaning out anything is about as welcome as a hemorrhoid. As a result the upkeep of my house, and the market-readiness work have fallen to the wayside. That’s not right, but it’s the way that it is. Or has been.

But when something just evolves the way it did today I feel empowered and completely forget to be overwhelmed.

I like that feeling.

The only downside is that I still have not found a cure for the 90% Doneness Syndrome. I get 90% of a job done and am left with a pile of things that I don’t know what to do with, or am too tired to deal with after busting my tush all day. Today’s 10% is currently sitting on my dining room table.

Sigh.

Tomorrow. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.

The IRS Increases Business, Moving and Medical Expense Mileage Rates

I may faint.

The IRS actually saw a need to provide some tax relief and it didn’t take an act of Congress to implement it.

Starting July 1st, the IRS is increasing the the allowable business deductible for business vehicles from 50.5 to 58.5 cents per mile.  The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.

The IRS is also going to raise the rate for calculating computing deductible medical or moving expenses from 19 cents to 27 cents a mile, also starting July 1st. The rate for charity services, requiring an act of law to change it, remains at 14 cents per mile.  Hey, nobody’s perfect.

Mileage Rate Changes

Purpose

Rates 1/1 through 6/30/08

Rates 7/1 through 12/31/08

Business

50.5

58.5

Medical/Moving

19

27

Charitable

14

14

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

For more information read the IRS press realease.

As always, please remember that I am not an expert on finance, or an accountant. I’m just an accountant’s daughter. So, please, please, please contact your accountant for expert advice.

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