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Today's Accomplishments

April 9th, 2011 at 03:46 pm

It was a somewhat productive day; wish I'd done just a little more...

1. Vacuumed the upstairs.

2. Caulked around my kitchen cabinets; it's a point of entry for carpenter ants. Why didn't I do this before? Instead, I jammed dryer sheets up there. For good measure, I caulked the underside of my 1st floor stairs, by getting at them from my basement stairs...did that just to block cold air from the basement from coming up to first floor...i could see daylight thru some cracks. Also caulked in my sunroom, where some carpenter ants had come in attracted by the warm afternoon sun. I can't figure out exactly how they're getting in, but I figured I'd caulk what gaps I could see..

3. Confirmed that I have matching leftover paint in the basement with which I want to do some painting of both downstairs hall (over the water stain plumber said wasn't a leaky pipe, probably just from my upstairs bathtub) and upstairs hall (carpenter accidentally put some nails through a wall when he was paneling a closet). So I have the paint, but needed a new roller, so ran to Ace and got two. Too bad I didn't start this job, but will try tomorrow.

4. Also deposited some checks at the bank.

5. Was able to gouge out and then use sandpaper to make my deadbolt lock work again. This was something I was going to pay the carpenter to do, so I'm glad I could do it myself, I had to just slightly reposition the metal plate, The deadbolt doesn't go in perfectly smoothly, but it does work now whereas before it wouldn't close at all.

6. Did my estimated quarterly taxes. Boy, this was a pain. I spent a lot of time doing it the way the IRS wants you to do it and then decided it didn't make sense for me. They want you to estimate your income for the whole year, but since I plan and hope to get a perm job sometime in 2011, I have no way of estimating or knowing how long I'll be earning an hourly, independent contractor wage. And I don't know how much overtime I'll actually end up working. I'm aiming for an extra 10 hours a week, but who knows if I'll be able to do that consistently? So I decided to recalculate it my way.

I took my actual YTD income from freelance writing and my full-time hourly job; I didn't start the f/t job until March, so the gross was only $3,795. I multiplied by 25% tax rate and got $948 and to that I added $536 for self-employment tax (I have next to no home office deductions). That came to $1484 but then I deducted half of the self-employment tax and my SEP-IRA contribution of $350. So I figured I owed them $866 and that's what I paid today. I have no idea how far off I actually am.

One thing I never got was why do they have you calculate the self-employment tax and then deduct half of it?

Other than that, the cats and I enjoyed sitting out on the sun room this afternoon with a cup of tea. I vacuumed it and put out my bamboo mat and the new chaise lounge I bought for it. Looks great. It's such a peaceful spot.

On tomorrow's agenda:
1. Grocery shopping
2. Continue digging out overgrown forsythia.
3. Paint the 2 hallways walls.
4. Possibly go to the cacti and succulent show with friend.
5. Put in 5 hours of work.

Sound doable? Sounds like not enough time! I hope to get #1 and #3 done first thing in the a.m.#5 is also a priority. But #2 needs to be done fairly soon because once the forsythia leafs out, it gets too overgrown to work in there. And after I do that i need to rake smooth the whole area and plant grass seed so it doesn't get all weedy, AND dispose of all the forsythia branch clippings.

I've signed up for a Yale/Centers for Disease Control study whereby I allow them to spray a pesticide for Lyme ticks. Lyme disease is rampant here, and i've had it twice. I hate using pesticides, but i decided to try it. Once I sign all the paperwork, I make an appt. for the Orkin guys to come and spray. I won't know if they're spraying the pesticide or just water placebo. Then I answer a bunch of online surveys through October about ticks I've run into. For my trouble, they give me $40 worth of Target gift cards. I researched the pesticide online and it is apparently safe enough that you can use it near a veggie garden, but of course I wouldn't do that. But it was comforting to know it's not too toxic. And it also kills carpenter ants, so that would be as valuable to me as killing ticks. They don't spray the whole yard, just the brushy perimeters, which is where the ticks hang out.

2 Responses to “Today's Accomplishments”

  1. LittleGopher Says:

    You got lots done today, and what a reward - your sun room sounds absolutely wonderful!

  2. Thrifty Ray Says:

    WOW. Way to tackle that list!

    I know the chemicals my son uses now are organic and much safer. Although the residule effect has a shorter lifespan. Im hoping you get the real deal and not the placebo so that you have less chance of getting bitten this year....

    Hope you enjoy your day! Sounds like another busy one.

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