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Monday, April 30, 2012

Bad News (stick it IRS) Good News (agented -please!) #23

Hard to believe it's been well over a week since my last installment. Getting ready for the writers' conference in Scottsdale and filing taxes ate up the time.

On that - first the good news. The conference had its highs and lows. The highs outweighed the lows. I have two requests from agents for my latest manuscript. I really want an agent. And one of them is my dream agent. I'll polish the first three chapters yet again and rewrite my synopsis before emailing it off...and then wait...and wait some more. Usually takes weeks to hear back.

Now the bad news - we owe taxes. This isn't a big surprise. We'd set aside some money because Minnesota taxes social security but we hadn't held out. Frank started taking his social security months before we moved. But wow! I mean wow! I hadn't expected it to hit us quite this hard with the deductions we had. According to Frank's calcs, the Feds gave us back $850. Minnesota wanted over $1700! Now let's heap on the bad news a bit more. We got our refund back within days and guess what? We only got $350. I'm crying here - well, not really but gasping a bit. Waiting for their letter so I can yell and scream. Not that it will do much good. IRS really isn't very flexible.
Blackberries - before

Blackberries now
Argh! Tuck that away and look out to the garden. I was gone four days (that's a story for next time) and in those four days, so much greened up and sprouted. Before I left, we were getting asparagus. We didn't plant it so this was a big surprise. It takes about three years from planting to harvest for asparagus. We didn't know they were there, which makes it very lucky that they weren't damaged when we cleaned up that part of the garden. They harvest daily so we have both purple and green asparagus about every other night for dinner. What a treat.

Green house success
Lance's lovely rows
There are all kinds of little green leaves popping up in the green house. To name a few: broccoli, cabbage, many kinds of tomatoes, dozens of herbs, artichoke, brussel sprouts, various beans, and lots of kinds of peppers. And there are more. Lance has planted several out in the fields too, (things like carrots and onions) but so far only radishes are popping up. We live on the windy side of Paulden - no, did not know that until AFTER we moved in - so seeding is a challenge. Those little bitty things blow around with the slightest gust of wind.

I'm excited that twelve of the twenty suckers I dug off of other trees are definitely alive. It will be years before they bear fruit, but I'll totally enjoy watching them grow - and keeping them alive. Many years ahead of worrying about frost and pests.
Fruit tree 3 months ago

A special thanks to the people who approached me at the conference in Scottsdale this weekend to tell me they enjoy this blog. I was surprised - what a great compliment! And to Kelly - gopher wars continue and thanks for your help.

Pear tree now!
PS - those of you who do follow my blog - would love it if you would click on "Join This Site". It's fun for me to see  how many are visiting on a regular basis.

18 comments:

  1. Good luck with your agents, Brenda. I hope they love your sample chapters and ask for more.

    Tami

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    1. Thanks, Tami. I need those positive vibes.

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  2. Best of luck with the agents! I feel your tax woes. The good news, my husband had more work last year (he's a contractor.) The bad news, the IRS wants their share. I'm getting a part time day job just to keep up!

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    1. Yeah, bummer, Jannine. They do want their take, don't they?

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  3. Brenda,

    It was so great to meet you! And I am so excited for you that you got a request from the agent. I am sure you will WOW them. Pocket gophers are a challenge and I was thrilled to hear that my advice has put Lance ahead in the score of man against gopher!

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  4. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your agent submission goes well, and I'll have a drink to help drown your IRS sorrows. I almost hate that time of year anymore. We have a small farm and they keep taking away what we can deduct. Can't fight it, so we just deal.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Lynda

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    1. Oh, Linda. We are just starting up our small family farm. I don't think we'll ever have it set up so that IRS gets involved but who knows. I feel for you! Thanks for the positive thoughts.

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  5. Brenda,
    Best of luck with your agent submissions! I really feel your pain re: the IRS. We owed them a HUGE sum this year because of some unanticipated events. OUCH! I still haven't recovered from writing that check. I love the pictures of your garden and can't wait to hear how everything does.

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  6. I have cursed the IRS for you.
    Now I'm going to click on join this site and see what happens

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    1. Thank you Jenny on both. Let me know if there's a snafu.

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  7. Brenda, LOVE your blog and always look forward to the next entry!! How great you see your life as such an adventure :) Sharing your lament for IRS, wrote Uncle Sam a gigantic check and they are already asking for one line item proof...those buggers!! Good luck on landing your dream agent!!

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    1. Ugh, good luck with IRS. Hate when they look too close! Glad you enjoy the blog.

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  8. Don't like the IRS news but LOVE all the other news. I'm so excited about the agent news for you and will keep you in my thoughts, sending good vibes.

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  9. Glad to read about your gardening efforts. If it ever decides what weather we're going to have in PA... (preferably summer) we'll be able to plant too! Best wishes!

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  10. So it's worse there than here, Alana? We're still holding off on a few touchy plants. Never know if we'll get another frost before mid-May. Good luck to you!

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