Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tax Time

While this blog is for my personal views - there is those times I'd like to get up on my professional soap box.

For those of you who receive a paycheck from your place of employment, you may have noticed a slight change, a small increase. This change reflects the Making Work Pay credit that was passed by Pres Obama.

While this is nice, actually several of my clients called with their results - any where from 58cents to $3 in their weekly check. That is about $24 to $144 for this year. I'm not sure that letting the people keep a few more $$'s in their paycheck will make the economic boom that the Congress and President is expecting.

One warning - if you, as a taxpayer, plan the amount of withholding during the year to insure that with the level of withholding and your estimate payments is equal or exceed the safe harbor amount - Be Aware - since your withholding is decreasing you will not meet the safe harbor payment level and will be subject to a late payment penalty.

Make sure you and your tax preparer are aware of this "little" difference. It may be great now, yet it won't be pleasant in the future.

Geez - what a party pooper! The honeymoon isn't long enough. For more information visit my website Patricia J. Foley, Certified Public Accountant for up-to-date tax information.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring is on it's way!

Today the sun was up at 6:57! Since my shades aren't drawn, I get to awake to the gentle change from dark skies to the morning sky. When the sun shines on our side of the clouds, it's an extra special morning.

My routine is just like yours, getting up and taking care of personal hygiene, excercising, getting the paper, breakfast all before you may jump of the road to go to work. Of course many of you have families and that makes the morning even busier, with who's going to miss the bus, making lunches, and coordinating who needs a ride or is getting a ride.

I do have one activity in the morning that makes my whole day. It's my 5 at 5. I take only 5 minutes and pick up, make the bed, wipe the spashes off the mirror, recycling goes out, clean out the sink, counters wiped down, put all items in their place - any combination. It's a great relief when I can say I have already accomplished something for my day!

With spring coming - I want all the free time I can get to enjoy the longer days. Hope you can find a find a little 5 at 5 in your life and so you may get out and celebrate.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An Era Comes to an End

......... it was early morning today and the phone rings, I'm a bit groggy as I answered, it was Ted, Rita's son-in-law. You know those phone calls, the ringer doesn't sound just right, there is a funny feeling and then your heart sinks.

Late Monday night Rita passed away. I've known her for almost 30 yrs, I worked for her husband at his accounting firm and was a guest at their home so many times I can't count. I'd be a regular guest on Wednesday nights for dinner. What a great cook! Her daughters are a little bit older than I (like older sisters), and when I first met the family, the grandchildren were in their teens. Now the grandchildren have their own children, four great grandchildren for Rita. Those little ones were the light of her life. For those of you who know me as "PJ", that was Rita's husband's doing. It seemed that my name was too long! I recieved a great jewish education via osmosis, and for me who loves to learn new things, it was great to learn about their traditions.

She is an amazing individual, great friend to many people, kind and considerate and a wee bit fiesty, her philanthropic endeavors out worked most working individuals. She taught school, and raised millions of dollars in the greater Hartford area. Love the arts and the theatre. Yes it is in the present tense on purpose. I so believe that we need to celebrate her life, for all the joys and the privileges we received by knowing her. Tonight we began to share some of the stories and celebrate her life. On Thursday, in Jewish tradition, we will have the funeral and begin Shiva - more information can be found - click here

I was good to see you last week my dear friend, thank you for adding your color to my life's journey. All of us will miss you!

Special wishes - to Carol and Margie and everyone - Ha-Makom y'nachem et'chem b'toch sha'ar aveilei Tzion v'Yerushalayim.

love ya - your semi-jewish "little PJ"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Schedule time for YOU

This time of year can be a bit harried as the deadlines draw near in my business life. Though, one must remember to schedule time for yourself. Our lives can be so "busy" - sometimes the wrong kind of busy. So right now - it's time to look at what you do for yourself. Remeber the oxygen mask instructions the flight attendands gives, that is you are to put your's on first then assist others.

One of the things I do for myself on a pretty regular basis - no chores on the weekend! I make sure that those are completed during the week. Laundry on Thursday, grocery on Wednesday, baths are done each day with a quick wipe down and once a week hit on Thursday. I'll hit the floors on an as needed basis. Keeping chores down to a minimum, gives me time on the weekend to enjoy some quiet time for me. It also doesn't make a day of chores - they are spread out over the week and generally take only 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there.

I also plan to attend a couple of events during the month. I check out the lectures, reveiw the video list and make reservations to obtain some from the library, make plans to visit with friends.

The Time for Me is also to set-up and work towards my goals. At my master mind meeting we discuss successes, challenges and the goals for the next month. This time spent in "planning" is amazing! Chores and errands can be combined, some even eliminated when you make the time to look at what is ahead of you.

So as we begin the month of March - Take Time for You - you are most deserving.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recipes - can you find your favorite

Lots and Lots of them. They come on those plastic covered cards that were part of a 'come-on' to buy the program, small scraps of paper, small cute 'cards' lovingly hand written of that favorite dish. My favorite are clippings from newspapers, and photocopies of photocopies and emails and my famous I'll write it up better when I get a chance scrap (lol).
When I moved to my new home, there were little corners that were not yet "organizaed" to meet my new life. The cook book shelf was one of them. With my new place I've begun to entertain on a regular basis. Now where were those exceptional recipes that I so enjoyed - I do remember part of them, though something seems missing.
So it's time to get them in place. There isn't a great way to save them all, so I opted for some non-glare page protectors (on sale) and an old three-ring binder. At least I can see both sides of some of those pages and they are about the same size. It was a trip down memory lane. I made this one when I first went to meet a friend's family - it was really good. Greca vegetables Oh, my buffet scape for my New Years brunch and finding Nat Nat's zapalas in her hand writting. Aunty Marl's orange macaroni salad. Hmmm I didn't find Denise's "fake potato" dish (its really califlower and it is sooo good!) I'll have to email her again.
If you want to get them some order, separate them into 'keep' and 'not in this lifetime'. It might seem funny but somehow I got one of them that must have looked good at that time? Anyway you know what to do with those! Next advice - do not make a project of this. No intense cataloguing system - just get them in the book, and worry about organization later. My book has two sections - first - just made in the last year and second - maybe sometime in the future.
By the way - share a favorite - hand write it down, an email while quick doesn't have the same feeling when you can see the handwritting. Enjoy! I hope you can find your favorites!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Vote is in

.... with a very narrow margin ..... 32% of the voters coming out to the polls!

The "NOs" (that is, do not change the charter) won by 51 votes! 2898 Nos vs 2849

Yes, I'm sure there is a re-count. This is a sad victory for the people of the town. For all of those that do not like change - then it is more of the same. Our property taxes have risen more than 60% in the last ten years - ouch!!! Heck if you compouned the inflation rate for the last ten years ---- no way near it. Take a $1,000 ten years ago, increase it for inflation and ten years later it would be $1,292.95. For those of you that pulled out the calculator - thats a 29.29% increase!

So Change the charter - no "we" don't want change. More of the same is good??? I tell the naysayers - time to smell the coffee!

YET the people have spoken and hopefully with the next go around - we will ge a resounding YES!