When you have a bad day, do you, like Scarlet O’Hara. tell yourself tomorrow will be better? When you have a good day, do you say Thank You? The past 24 hours have been pretty good to me so I want to say Thank You to my HP.
1/ Thursday, my classmate Paul and I gave our presentation on The Monied Metropolis, and it went well. From the corner of my eye, I saw the professor making notes. I figured it was something I said, as I had just explained (quoting my professor at Maryland) the genius of Marx’s sociology to one of my classmates, plus I got several of the boys to laugh when I said “When I studied Sociology at Maryland, I got good Marx.” (say it out loud). When we were leaving class, several of them told the professor “This was a great class.”
Leaving the class room, I said to Paul, “OK we’re off the hook.” Paul works during the day for a high-end pool cleaning service and was very happy to get this task behind him. He told me he had difficulty taking graduate courses while working fulltime. plus he commutes from Loudon county into the city every day. He gets up at six AM to drive to work, and is often up at night studying until 2:30 AM. I told him I too did this for years (worked and went to school) while I finished two graduate degrees.
I waited until I had retired to pursue the MA in history. I actually first entered the program in 1992 when I was much younger, but dropped out until I retired more than a decade later. I wanted to enjoy going to school. Originally, I had thought I might work part-time after I got the history degree, but given some health issues, these days, I doubt I will do more than volunteer somewhere. Given we have many historic sites around Washington, I should be able to find volunteer work if I get inspired.
2/ The second great bit of news is that I have only 3 more weeks of classes. I realized lately that I am ready to leave school..or, to leave formal schooling…behind. With the training I have in history, I should be able to continue to do research on my own, especially the genealogy task I set for myself some time ago.
3/ The third bit of good news was that David says we only owe the IRS $59.00 for 2011, and we should get a refund from the state of over $600. Usually, we owe money, so he sent the forms to Turbo Tax and they went over them and said he had done everything right. Anticipating a higher tax bill we began to set money aside some months ago. Lately, we have been able to save money every month, and now that we know we can save money, we will continue to put it in joint account to build a rainy day fund. This is good. Although we have always made ends meet, we always owed someone something. I paid off my last credit card and David has finally finished paying for his last hospital stay.
4/ The next bit of news I received could be good or bad. I will reach 71.5 years of age by the end of 2012, so my credit union sent me a letter telling me I had to withdraw money from my IRA CDs. Seems big brother (the Federal Government) does not want me to die and leave anything behind.
I am annoyed with this because I don’t think it is the government’s business. For one thing, some government operative has calculated how long he or she thinks I am going to live and I doubt any bureaucrat knows this. Then they tell me how much I should draw out of my account every year given my life expectancy.
You can fill in your own amount on the form, but there are penalties if you do it wrong. I really don’t want to bother with all that. Determining how much to take out each year is like signing my death warrant. I believe in the law of “self-fulfilling prophecies” and if I calculate how long I might live and then believe it, I could be in trouble. I have already calculated my life expectancy on the Social Security site, and I should live to be at least 92. I am a demographer by training so I understand life table calculations and I know these ‘averages’ may not apply. My attitude is leave the money where it is, and let it grow. If I drop dead before I spend it, too bad.
The other thing that annoyed me is that the form says if David is younger than me I should do one thing, but if he is older forget it. David is 12.5 years older than me and he didn’t expect to live as long as he has. Good grief, I don’t need to send him a negative message either.
5/ Another maybe good thing that happened is that I received an email message from Road Scholar with news of the perfect cruise. The price is right, the ship is great and the itinerary is perfect, and the focus is education. David and I have talked about this for a while and it looks like the $$ would be there should we choose to do it. Will we? I hate to spend money, so who knows.
When the seventh box of plants arrived from White Flower Farm yesterday, I told David to take my computer away from me if I get depressed in the middle of winter again. When the weather is bad I am visiting nurseries online and go nuts.
In addition to purchasing my favorite annuals (including petunias, of course) I bought several new containers, a couple of shrubs and new to me annuals. I am trying five or six new annuals this year, including Heliotrope and Helichrysum. (I am into purple it seems). I will let you know later how this works.
My Dad was a Verbena lover, but I have not grown Verbena before now. This year, I bought a white variety ‘Turkana White’ for the hanging planters, and the lovely lavender pictured below ‘Edith’ for the large container with the Heliotrope and Helicrysum.
Some of these new annuals are scented, so I planted them near the patio. Hopefully, we will be able to sit out there early on summer mornings, having our coffee, watching the birds and smelling the flowers. I suppose if you are going to have an addiction, buying annuals in the middle of winter is not too bad.
Somehow, that cruise through the Agean looks far far away.
From my sister:
May the world hug you today
With its warmth, and love
And may the wind carry a voice
That tells you there is a friend
Sitting in another corner of the world wishing you well!