Man Oh Man, has it been a haul, but I came to an end to the drifts of receipts, and added up the numbers in various categories, and felt sick. It seemed I had not “withheld” enough, and owed the government $4000.00 more than I thought I’d owe. I would be hard pressed to come up with the money, and it was with a sense of doom that I approached the lady I pay to spend a half hour going through my numbers, and, with fingers moving like a blur, to punch all the numbers into forms on a computer screen, and finish the job.
This woman worked for the IRS for 35 years, and knows the ropes, concerning tax forms. She knows the legal ways of getting the most from “expenses.” I do not have a clue how some of the forms work. When I read something like, “If line sixteen is more than line eight, write down line five on line seventeen, but if line sixteen is less than line five divide line sixteen by line fifteen, and write down the result on line seventeen”, my reaction is to scream or laugh insanely. This lady simply pauses to look at the ceiling for a second, and then her fingers go back to being a blur.
When she was done I had “withheld” too much, and actually would be getting $700.00 back.
This involved an odd thing called “credits”, which has never made a lick of sense to me, because “credits” do not involve money the government took from you and is giving back, because they took too much. Instead it involves money they government never collected, but is able to hand out, because they have a press that can print money.
I suppose I should be happy, but it troubles me to get money I didn’t earn, even if it has a name like, “earned income credit”. It strikes me as madness, but the lady knows the ins and outs of the forms, and her computer automatically brings up credits I never even knew existed, when she types in my expenses.
Now it is over and done with. I lift my weary eyes, and see a world that has been transformed. The snow is gone.
I went out and rototillered part of the garden. Man oh man was I out of shape. However I have hope of getting back into shape, and getting this blog back on track, over the next few days.
We have actually been in a sort of a drought, which allowed the four feet of snow to slowly fade away without the floods I half expected. The final snow-delay of a long winter was Monday, April 6, with around an inch of sleet and freezing rain, and it was followed by some gloomy weather (which was good for doing taxes in), with temperatures a little above freezing and a small amount of rain.
Then high pressure built southeast of us, we got into a dry southwest flow, the sun burst out and we had a few glory days, with temperatures getting up near 70° (21° Celsius). You can see the warm fronts, which had been completely unable to penetrate north, pushed past and far up into Quebec. The rains with the next system stayed far to our west and south.
Everything seemed to dry out coming east.
A second high pressure has pressed south after the first, and given us cool but bone dry conditions.
It is so dry that there were “Red Flag Warnings” yesterday. Perhaps due to a reaction setting in after doing my taxes, I felt really annoyed that the government was telling me I couldn’t burn the dead weeds in my own garden. There used to be a rule that stated farmers had brains, and didn’t need to get burn permits to burn weeds on their own farms, and I decided to pretend I didn’t know about the new rules, if some officious volunteer from the fire department showed up as I burned a small triangle of weeds in my rhubarb and asparagus patch, (bounded on two sides by lawn, and on the third side by rototilled soil).
Just as an experiment, I thought I’d see if I could control the fire and only burn a corner of the triangle. I couldn’t. A gust of wind hit, and the fire spread in a wonderfully exciting manner, with me rushing about the edges of the triangle, preventing attempts the fire made to spread outside its bounds. It put out an amazing amount of heat, and a hose hidden under the weeds melted, and a plastic flower pot at the edge caught on fire, It was a bit disconcerting when the fire began to creep out over the lawn, burning the brown grass between the first sprigs of green, but a bit of dancing over the turf stomped those creepers out. In the end I proved an old farmer could burn weeds without setting the town ablaze, but it did stir the tax-addled molasses of my blood, just a bit.
It was a reminder to me how swiftly fires can spread this time of year. The duff (leaf litter) is not shaded, and the sun is as high and bright as it is in late August, and the top inch or so of the forest floor can become much drier than at any other time. When humidity gets low (it was down around 20% yesterday afternoon) and the wind is gusty, you can get fires that go roaring through the woods, along the ground.
But that didn’t happen on my farm, and the rhubarb patch is now free of dead weeds, with the ashes a nice fertilizer for the plants, which will come bulging up any day now. The daffodils have shot up, and are budding, in a place that was under snow ten days ago.
I’ve survived both winter and taxes.