About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I am such a good Do-Bee!

Does anybody else remember “Romper Room”? At the end of the show, Miss Mary would ask the Magic Mirror who had been good a good Do-Bee that day, and then she would read the names of children whose parents had written in. [I remember that Mom did that once, for me. It’s official; I must have been a good kid when somebody was looking, if only once.]

So why do I think I am a good Do-Bee now? Well, I’ve already started working on my 2007 federal tax return. Logged in, merged last year’s information, and logged off. One goal for the weekend is to complete both Schedule C’s; shouldn’t be hard since I’ve sold off most of my inventory. And then I’ll just have to wait for my W-2 and interest information.

Why the rush? Well, this is the way that I used to do it: have everything assembled so that when the W-2 came in the mail, I could do my return in about an hour and get my money within the week. The timing of last year’s return was an affront to my sense of How Things Are Supposed to Be.

I’ll put the refund, if there is one, into savings toward my move. And next month we have three paydays, so there will be significant disposable income on the 29th because the only deductions will be for taxes. I’ll allow myself one small splurge and throw the rest into savings. And I found out Friday morning that my yearly bonus will arrive in my paycheck on 25 April. Woohoo! That will go into savings, too.

That way I can rent a truck for the move, and have the good brethren in this ward load it up and be done, and the good brethren in the new ward can meet the truck and empty it and be done. And I can buy a stackable washer and dryer at the scratch-and-dent and have it delivered to the new place. And a new vacuum.

That’s assuming there *is* a move, come June.

[I also need to remember to refigure my W-4 once LittleBit graduates and flies the coop. I don’t want any nasty surprises come April 15, 2009. I also don’t want a huge refund; I used to love it when that happened, but now I’d rather have the money for day-to-day expenses, or add it to my 401K contributions.

Speaking of which, I got the yearly report on my 401K and the company retirement benefit and used the online calculator to figure out where I’d be financially if I work another 20 years and contribute the same modest amount per month into my 401K. It sounds like a very nice, comfortable place to be until I remind myself that 25 years ago I was making $8 an hour temping occasionally and just amazed that a kid from the Gem State could be earning so much money.

That was back when hamburger was a dollar a pound, and now I pay $4.28 for the ultra-lean. I have a sneaking suspicion that the cost of living is not going to fall any time soon. But if this move goes through, I will have a significant savings on my rent, and if I ride the train to work, I will cut my auto expenses by more than half. I drive 250 miles a week, just to get to work and back.

I could do like my best friend at work does, and drive my car to work a couple of times a month [oh, say, payday] and park in the lot across the street; that way I could not-coincidentally go to the yarn shop in Dallas before heading home to Fort Worth.

Jerry, would your condo association have conniptions if you had a container garden on your patio? Do you get enough light to do that? I think there are dwarf varieties of berry bushes that should do well in your climate. We used to have a copy of Square Foot Gardening, and the one concept that has remained is that you can get more carrots from a properly-prepared square foot of garden than you can in an X-foot-long running row. I don’t remember if X = 20 or 50, but it was startling enough to stick in my head for 20+ years. Just a thought.

I finally, *finally* reached the end of the ball last night, about half a round shy of what I think is going to be my final increase on the calf. I tried it on, and the calf fits perfectly. But now the toe is a little long. I will probably go back and frog it slightly and do a three-needle bind-off. Or maybe try the on-the-needles faux-Kitchener I read about on Knitting Daily. Though I really don’t mind Kitchener stitch. Next time I won’t start with 8 stitches; I’ll go with 10 or 12. I really like the fit on the heel. It combines the best features of a top-down heel flap with the controlled fit of a toe-up.

If I want sock #2 to match as perfectly as possible, I’l have to do the skinny cast-on again and then frog it back, but at least this time I will know and can do it while the sock is still basically a shallow cup instead of the Holland Tunnel.

No pictures today of the Stripedy Sock, as it doesn’t look all that different from its last profile shot. But probably in a few days when I am done with the ribbing. I think I will use EZ’s sewn cast-off and stop an inch or two shy of my knee. That way if all this new vigorous activity has its desired effect, and I have to reblock the stocking to fit a narrower calf, it will not suddenly become a thigh-high.

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