Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Dept. of Ed and Your Photo Here.....

I made it through Monday. I actually had my doubts as we have been remodeling at work and then my boss fell and injured his back. I was really wondering what kind of Monday we were going to have. It turned out fine though and the finished product with the remodel is going to be so much more efficient for both us and the customers. Now if we can just get my poor boss healed up. The dr. told him that he needed bed rest for the next 8 days. I don't think he has really rested for even 8 minutes. He is just slowly and surely moving from computer to computer. Now THAT is dedication!

The Dept. of Education and I are going to be having yet another conversation today. I had a feeling that some how, some way I would not be getting my federal income tax back......and the government did not disappoint. They took my entire refund and said I owed on a student loan....which by the way....they have already garnished my monthly paychecks because of....saying I was in default. I have disputed this over and over again with no results. Several years ago I worked as a VISTA which is part of AmeriCorps. For you that are unaware of this organization (as I was before I became a VISTA) it is actually a branch of the Peace Corps. It is domestic (as in our own borders) service to organizations (usually non-profits). I was placed with Communities In Schools and my job was to help the grant writer and work on the fund raising events. The pay for these kind of jobs is minimal (literally) but one of the benefits is that after a year of service....the VISTA program pays $4000.00 to any outstanding student loans you might have. (That was right at what I owed at the time). I was there well over a year and I filled out all my paperwork and was assured that my loan had been taken care of. Since....I have gotten statements that say I owe X amount of dollars.....then I will get another one saying I owe another X amount of dollars. (I only had one loan and the amounts they send are never the same!) Then they started garnishing my monthly social security death benefits. I went around and around with them. Finally out of shear exhaustion I quit arguing. They said I owed around $800 which I did not believe I did, but they seemed determined....so now they are taking out monthly allotments from my check. Currently though....they have gone too far. They have now taken my entire fed. tax return which was way over $800. Something is not right! Our government is so screwed up. I have had the pleasure (that was sarcasm) of dealing with both the IRS and the Dept. of Education on many occasions and both places have treated me rudely and with great disrespect. I have been called a dead beat over taxes that were not owed by me but by my late husband and his ex-wife (that was eventually proven to NOT be my debt to pay....but never once did anyone apologize for the disrespectful way I was treated nor the names I was called.) The Dept. of Education has called me a liar several times and depending on who you get as a representative.....they can even be pretty antagonistic. I am just so over this government. Grrrr!

Okay....enough ranting. I used my new pedometer phone app. at the gym yesterday. From what I can tell.....it only records distance and steps on the walking part of the app. On the rest such as elliptical, weight training, etc it just records time and calories. That is fine though as the elliptical can give me my strides and distance and then with the rest at least I will know approx. how many calories I have burned. It certainly is much better than any pedometer I have had in the past. By the way....I have a WW pedometer for sale if anyone wants it. I'll sell it cheap!

I had a nice experience yesterday. I had someone come up to me at Walgreens and someone else email me asking what I was going to do now that the 30 Day Challenge was over. I was a little taken a back. Both said they had grown accustomed to reading my blog daily. One said it was part of her morning coffee break. My blog and a cup of coffee. Hmmmm.....so blogs do go well with coffee! They both asked if now that the 30 DC was over, if I was going to quit blogging daily and go back to just every now and then. Then, I was on fb and one of my fb friends gave me an idea (thank you Norm). It is a 365 day photo blog. Reading up on it....it is a blog for those who really don't like to put words into a blog, but instead.... pictures. You know me though, I LOVE my words....but pictures are a great compliment to words, so I decided to give this a try. Rather than bite off a huge hunk like a whole year, I have decided to first try a month (starting today!) I am going to do another 30 day blog with a dedicated picture each day. If I like it  then  I will just continue on. Feel free to give me feedback along the way.  The photo's will be pictures of my world, the things I like, find beautiful or simply interesting. The one thing about all the photo's that I will use in this part of my blog is....they will all be mine...taken by me! No stock photo's! I am going to call this little section of my blog....Your Photo Here. Why? 'Cause I can! So let's get this party started!

Today's Your Photo Here.......

Don't ask me why I chose this as my first photo. It was probably because one, I had just gotten it in the mail and two, it is the only magazine practically that I read. Every Christmas this is my mother in laws gift to me.....a new subscription. I have been an avid reader of this magazine since the mid 90's and while slowly but surely it is getting more ads (it used to be totally ad free) I still love it.

Some of the best meals I have ever prepared come from Taste of Home. The recipes are usually all fairly easy and use ingredients that most of us have on hand all the time. There are recipes geared so kids can help in the kitchen, recipes that men have created and cook in the kitchen and there are comfort food recipes that Mom used to make.

Over the years I have made hundreds of the recipes that I have found in TOH and in those, I have only made one or two that my family didn't like. Many have become family favorites like Lil' Cheddar Loaves. They are little individual meatloaves made with cheddar cheese and a wonderful sauce. My kids get positively giddy when they know that these little meatloaves are on the menu. Another family favorite is a Potato Soup recipe I got years ago from The Men Who Run the Range section. It is an unusual soup made with both real potatoes and of all things...instant potatoes. It has wonderful spice and is so good served with cheddar cheese, sour cream and croutons. There is nothing like it on a cold winters night.

Yes...we are family who relates to food. We like to cook and we like to eat. I love to get in the kitchen and be able to play with recipes and TOH never disappoints in the recipe department. So yes, a magazine is kind of a different picture to start out with....but this magazine is one that means a lot to my family, and if you haven't ever picked one up....you might try it. Who knows....it might bring out the culinary genius in you too! So this is picture one. Can I get a yum?

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