ODDS AND ENDS AND CHECKING IN


EXCUSE #1 FOR NOT POSTING:  I am volunteering again for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through United Way of the Coastal Bend.  Volunteers are trained and certified through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to prepare  tax returns for lower levels of income for free.  In past years I acted as a greeter/screener but did not do tax returns.  This year we have fewer volunteers so I have been doing returns (simple!) as needed.   I find that I enjoy it (not as hard as I thought it would be!) and feel that I am helping in the community.  We get questions about Hurricane Harvey damage but that is out of our scope. The site opened January 17 and will close April 17.  I am there Monday through Thursday, nine am to 1 pm.

SPRING EQUINOX:  In January we reluctantly had our veterinarian put our cat, Wiccan, down.  She was our last cat and would have been eighteen years old in May; we will not seek another cat.  Our other cats have been buried in the back yard, but we chose to have her cremated and saved her ashes to be scattered on a warm sunny day.  April 20 was the perfect day.  Near the back fence there was a small patch of dirt where the grass has not grown back yet and near where other cats are buried.  We toasted her with wine as she joined the other angel cats.  We will miss her.

VISIT TO HOUSTON:  On St. Patrick’s Day weekend Husband and I visited Son in Houston to celebrate their birthdays early.  We chose to have dinner at a restaurant called Tango and Malbec where Argentinian style food is featured.  We had been there before but this time we were delighted to find that we would be entertained by tango dancers during dinner.  They were excellent and each wore a bit of green.  I don’t know the style of tango but blogger A Frank Angle would surely have known; go to his blog but a video of a sultry Argentine tango.  We also visited the Rothko Chapel and the Cy Twombly Gallery.

READING AND WRITING: There does not seem to be enough time to read blogs, books, news and write.   Perhaps when tax season is over I will have time for all of them.  Cheers!

41 thoughts on “ODDS AND ENDS AND CHECKING IN

  1. Thanks for checking in with some bits and pieces. Cheers to your volunteer efforts! Oh my – Tango and Malbec sounds wonderful! What a great combination. Argentine Malbecs are wonderful … and Argentine Tango can cast a spell. As one who appreciates wine, food, and dance – I’m sure I would love this restaurant!

    Thanks for linking – and I invite readers here to my little corner of the world.

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  2. Sorry to hear about Wiccan. 18 years is a long time. Always hard to let pets go, so much a part of family.
    And very nice that you’re volunteering. So rewarding helping others. And yes, you need to fight for time to write. I know I do. There are so many distractions in life, especially now that we have social media. Days go by and I have to work at keeping my bum in my seat at the computer. 🙂

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    • Yes, it was hard to let her go as I found her as a kitten when I was mowing the grass. She was only a few weeks old, dehydrated and weak. I am enjoying volunteering and getting out but will be happy to have my retirement routine back. Thanks for the visit, Diana! I hope all is well with you and that your year and writing are going well.

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  3. I am so sorry you lost your old kitty friend. 18 years is definitely an admirable age and I can only guess at the enormous bonding. Kudos for all you are doing to help tax payers. I hope you will be back in the blogusfear when that mission is complete.

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    • We have had her since I found her as a kitten so there is an empty place in our lives. Getting out is good but I can’t seem to find time to do everything. Guess I am slowing down in my old age! Oh, well, I keep moving. Nice to hear from you, Dor! I miss keeping up with your adventures in Virginia.

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  4. An interesting update with much going on. Sending you a hug of empathy on the passing of your dear pet companion.
    How generous of you to be helping others with their returns. Glad to see a nw post from you, my blogger friend.

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    • Thanks for taking time to read, Cynthia! I have been trying to keep up with as many blogs as possible but I am missing many. So I just wanted to give any excuse! It is humbling as I see so many in need of assistance and to make taxes a little easier for them. I get so much more than I give!

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  5. I’m so sorry to hear about Wicca!
    But as for not blogging, please don’t apologize. Blogging is supposed to be fun, and we should only post when we really want to. Otherwise, it becomes just another obligation and/or chore, and who needs that? It has been a busy time for you, and when things settle down, then you will probably want to spend more time in the blogging world.
    PS: Good for you for helping people with their tax returns. If my accountant husband dies before I do, I’m going to need that kind of service for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ann! You make me feel better. Yes, blogging for me has no reason to be an obligation, but when I get too busy to read my favorite blogs, I feel guilty. Not that I am so important to them!

      Husband has always done our taxes. Since I had to have some training/certification to volunteer, I have learned so much about taxes. This past week we have at least three older women (my age!) who had recently lost their husbands and were completely lost. I am sure your accountant husband will have everything in order for you! Have a good weekend! And happy Easter!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So sorry about your cat. That’s very sad.

    I’ve seen your name around the blogosphere for quite a long time (my current blog is not my first one) and thought I’d pop by. Glad I did.

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    • Yes, you only have two weeks and two days to get them done. We get an extra day because Monday, April 16 is Emancipation Day that is only celebrated in DC. Thanks for taking time to read and comment, Christy!

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  7. Your experience with Wicca was so much like mine with Dixie Rose: from kittenhood to the ripe old age of eighteen years. Never having had or lost a pet, I’ve been astonished by how deeply affecting it’s been to experience her absence. But on we go. For now, I can see the little container with her ashes and the terracotta plaque with her paw print from the table where I sit — doing my taxes!

    I can well imagine that many people are facing extra tax challenges this year thanks to Harvey. It’s wonderful that you’re helping out. Joining a human face to a bureaucratic system can offer immense relief to people struggling with the tax code!

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    • How nice that you have a physical reminder of Dixie Rose! We considered that as the place we took her offered that, but she did not like to be inside for long so we thought she would be happier in the back yard that was her sanctuary. At one time we had six cats, three were outside cats and three were inside cats. Some we got as kittens, others as adults of unknown age, but all were strays. One by one we lost them and mourned each one. The loss is always painful when you make these fur friends a part of your family. We will not get another one as we are getting older and do not want the responsibility of another one.

      Enjoy the holiday weekend! Perfect weather here. We got our inch and a half of rain in the early morning hours Thursday and then the sun came out. Great for those who celebrate Easter weekend outdoors.

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  8. Wonderful Jo that you are volunteering your services to help in this way. Its a very worthwhile thing you do in helping others.. Often forms seem daunting to those who are not used to filling them in.. So I am well imagine the relief it is for someone to give a helping hand with them.

    I am so sorry to learn of your last beloved Cat.. 18 is a good age and I so understand your love and attachment.. My own cats were 21, 14 and 3 when they said their last goodbyes and each one I had to take to the vets.. We too had them cremated. I have a plaque in memory of the oldest.. She was just so part of our family, ..

    The restaurant sounded amazing, I am happy you had a wonderful time..
    I appreciate all the more that you took time out to visit my post Jo.. I am feeling brighter and lighter after taking time out for a while.. Many thanks for your kind thoughts my friend..

    Sending Love and Blessings.. Enjoy Spring. and all it brings and have a wonderful Easter Holiday.
    Love Sue ❤

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  9. It is never easy to let them go at any age. Twenty-one was quite a long time!

    With all the negative things in the world I feel better by being able to help in my small way as I see people come in with uncertainly seeking help.

    Finding your posts whenever you are ready to share is always a pleasure. Happy Easter to you too! Sending peace, hugs and light to you across the way!

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  10. Letting our precious pets go is always painful even though they may be ready to leave… I wrote my very first blog on the death of my cat – Goodbye Cat – and like you decided not to get another. Cats live so long, and I never want my darlings to go through the trauma of having to find another home.. so sadly, no more delicious purring and being bullied by a tiny furry creature… hope you are getting used to that absence of sweetness… cats seemed to stay around, flicking their tails just out of sight…!!
    I envy you the tango !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sorry for your loss too – will have to check out your post. Cats have always been a part of my life but like you I did not want someone else to have to find homes for them if we were gone. We do miss her sharing happy hour with her. The couple that did the tango were so good and the setting was so intimate. Husband and I don’t dance but we really enjoyed the performance. Thanks for taking time to read and share!

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  11. I am sorry you lost your cat, 18 years is a long time. I would be one of those helpless woman when it comes to doing taxes. My husband has done it for me for over 40 years,

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    • Husband has done ours for 41 years and still does them, but I have learned so much our taxes since I have been volunteering so I feel more confident if I had to do them on my own. Yes, 18 years was a long time to be a part of our family.

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  12. Jo, it is wonderful that you are assisting with taxes via the VITA program, that is such an outstanding program, and it helps so many people. I am sending you condolences and hugs for your beautiful and loved cat, Wicca. It is so hard to lose our pets as they are an important part of our family. It is hard to find time for blogging, I went through a period when I thought I would give it up altogether, along with the writing. Now my attitude is that I will do it when I can, nobody should feel bad or guilty, there is just so much to accomplish in a day. Much love to you, xoxo.

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  13. Thanks! I seem to recall that you were familiar with the VITA program. I know you have a cat so you can understand our loss of a family member. You make me feel better about not posting! I suppose my muse has taken a break too! Oh, well, I am not trying to make a living at this but just do it when I can enjoy it. Hugs to you! Have put your book on my reading list.

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  14. Like the ocean, life’s waves just keep rolling.
    While sad about Wicca, you were there – when she needed you both beginning and end of trail. Feeling that warmth and love at those times is important for all involved. May peace not be a stranger.
    (And I’m so glad to find others are struggling to find time to blog – and comfortable with stepping in and out as needed.)

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    • Waves rolling onto shore and back out, taking somethings with them, seems quite an appropriate comparison. At this age I should be used to it. I had not thought of it that way but I was there for at the beginning and the end.

      Thanks for the encouragement on not posting – not that I have millions of fans waiting anyway for my next production! ha! I simply put unrealistic expectations on myself. Must come and visit you soon to see what is shaking up your way

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  15. I’m sorry for your loss of your beautiful Wiccan. Such losses are never easy and although the extreme sadness lessens over time there’s a tender emptiness forever. I lost Mr.B in 2013 and I still miss him. Like you I have had the pleasure of the company and love of many cats in my life but decided, no more.
    You live a full life Jo Nell of which blogging is just a small part. A wise choice, it’s called sorting your priorities 🙂

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  16. You are right, blogging is a small part of my life but it has become an important part. You make me feel better about not blogging more! Life does come first. I have two older sisters that I check on also. Yes, there will be a tender emptiness forever but I don’t think it would be good to take on the responsibility of another cat.

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  17. I’m late reading this post. I hope that you’re relaxing now that tax season is over. Actually, it sounds like a lot of fun to help people complete their tax forms.

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