Spring, St. Pat’s Day, Taxes have arrived.

The weather is finally turning a corner here in the Midwest. I hope the feel of Spring is beginning to hit your area also.

With the first warm day of March, I want to get outside and start gardening. The problem is the ground is saturated from all the recent snow melt. It is too muddy and I will only compact the soil by walking on it. Compacted soil is an enemy of plant roots.

So today I will soak up the warm sun and breath the cool breezes. The weather is suppose to cool off and rain this weekend, right when some local schools start Spring Break. I hope they have their indoor plans ready.

My indoor plans will be to work on my taxes. I still have to finish mine along with my mother-in-law’s and my son’s. Rainy weather this weekend will give me a chance to take care of it.

Are your taxes completed? If they are then go enjoy the weekend. If not then it is time to work on them. Easter is the following weekend (March 23). There are only two weekends left after that before April 15 rolls around.

Don’t forget that St. Patrick’s Day is this coming Monday, March 17. Many cities and towns are having their parades on Saturday or Sunday. Check out your local times and locations. It’s a great way to welcome the Spring air. That is unless you are still in the grip of the March lion’s mouth.

Janice

Tax Return and Economic Stimulus Payments

In February the government approved the economic stimulus payment plan. Anyone with income of $3000 or more may be eligible to receive the payments.

Most Social Security recipients who normally do not file a tax return will have to file one for 2007 in order to get the economic stimulus payment. If you or someone you know is in this situation you need to check out the following website: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=179211,00.html.

The above site gives the eligibility requirements and what you have to do to file taxes for 2007. If the tax return is filed by April 15, then the stimulus payment is suppose to be sent out sometime in May.

There are only 5 weeks left to file your tax return. Now is the time to work on it.

Today’s quote:

“The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away.” ~John S. Coleman, address, Detroit Chamber of Commerce, 1956

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Menu Planning makes the week go smoother.

Do you plan your dinner menu in the late afternoon of that day? Do you wish the dinner hour would be a lot less hectic? One way to make meal preparation go a lot smoother is to plan out a menu for each day of the week ahead of time. I don’t always do it each week and when I don’t, I end up scrambling at 5:00 PM wondering what I will be making for dinner.

With a plan written for the week I know what to take out of the freezer the night before. If I need anything from the store I can pick it up during my weekly shopping or if I am out running other errands.

I print out a weekly calendar using Calendar Creator by Softkey. Apparently this program is now owned by Broderbund, http://www.broderbund.com/.

I did find a similar weekly printout for free at: http://www.printablecalendar.ca/. This site also has a lot more calendars, etc. offered for a paid subscription.

It is easy to make your own template for each week or just write it out on a piece of paper and put it on the front of your refrigerator so you see it each morning.

I just made out my menu plan. I look forward to smoother meal preparation this week.

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Plan for Daylight Savings and Smoke Detectors

This Sunday is Daylight Savings Time. We turn the clocks forward to gain the extra hour at night time. After the long cold evenings of winter it will be nice to take a walk after dinner and watch the sunset.

When you turn the clocks forward before going to bed on Saturday night you will lose that extra hour for sleeping in the morning. Some people don’t mind this while others dislike it. If you are interested in finding out more about Daylight Savings Time then check out this website. http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/index.html

If you have a battery operated smoke detector then this is a good time to change the batteries. Putting in new batteries when we change the clock in Spring and in Fall insures you have fresh ones that should work. If you don’t have a smoke detector then now is a great time to get one or more depending on your home. They save lives! For more information on smoke detectors check out this site. http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all_citizens/home_fire_prev/alarms/

Janice

March brings: gardening, baseball, snow?

Although the calendar says March, here in St. Louis and other parts of the Midwest we have 10 inches of snow outside. It is hard to think about gardening when the ground is blanketed with white.

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Spring will come whether we are ready for it or not. The official first day of Spring (Vernal equinox) is only 2 1/2 weeks away (March 20).

Even though the last frost date is different for each time zone it is now the time to prepare for gardening. If you can’t do much outside because of cold or snow, you can plant those seeds or order your plants, fertilizer, etc., so you have them when the weather is right.

Old Man Winter can even hit the southern parts of the country in March. My son lives in Dallas where they were hit with a snowstorm last night. There was enough snow to build a snowman. Check it out at http://tcaball.com/.

Janice