Friday, February 19, 2010

Homebuyer Tax Credit for those Buying First Home

Coldwell Banker wants to make sure that anyone that is thinking about buying a home know that the Home Buyer Tax Credit has been extended into 2010 and that there are changes that have made even more people eligible for this tax credit.

Why should you check to see if you might qualify, even if you were previously ineligible for the homebuyer tax credit?

The credit now covers even more home buyers, and with a tax credit that could be as high as $8,000.00 you could easily use the money from the tax credit to help remodel your new home. New carpeting, paint, maybe a nice bedroom or living room set. You could remodel the yard to have a garden or children's play area.

A few notes about the tax credit:

The home purchased must have a value of less than $800,000.00 and documentation of purchase must be attached to the tax return. The tax credit has been extended so that as long as the buyer has a signed contract to purchase is in hand by April 30, 2010, they will have to June 30th to close on the home purchase. This tax credit can be worth up to $8,000.00 to home buyers, so it is definitely worth checking into even if you think you might not qualify for the credit or had not qualified prior to the extension.

No longer only for those that are Buying First Home, the tax credit now allows for current home owners to qualify if they meet certain criteria. As with the first time home, homes purchased by current home owners must be less than $800,000 in value and written proof of intent to purchase must be in hand no later than April 30, 2010.

Watch the video below, where Jim Gillespie, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker, discusses the homebuyer tax credit, then visit the Coldwell Banker website for more information.

This post was paid for by Coldwell Banker

On Being a Caregiver

I need to take my mom's advice and start writing a book that tells it like it is when it comes to being a family caregiver. Something that lets people know just what they are going to be in for, and lets others know that they are not alone in the things they are experiencing.

My siblings have growled about me in the past, have expressed sore feelings about the deal that mom and dad made that I would be compensated for my helping them in the form of inheriting the house and its contents. The predominant complaint is always "What did you do for them?" and I persistently opt out of answering that particular question.

It is not because I don't have an answer to it, but I think that anyone else that provides 24/7/365 care as I do knows that there are a lot of things you prefer to not tell the family members that have never had to see the day to day sides of being a caregiver. And then there are the things they know about, and just ignore, the things they prove they know are an issue every time they say "I'll take dad to that meeting, but only if you come too!" or when they refuse to take him somewhere because it is too difficult to take him. And in particular when they refuse to come say hello to him even when they live less than five miles from him and are out driving about daily anyway.

I think the hardest part of being a caregiver is not the work one must do, but in watching family grow more and more distant and push both you and the care recipient away from them out of... I don't know. I'm not sure why they do it, but even with my constant saying "Please help", "Can you take dad to this..." or "Come visit dad, please?" I have been told that I shove them away and shut them out. My advice to fellow caregivers... be fully prepared not only for a long term unpaid job that will take 99% of your time and cost you most of your personal time, but one that will cause your closest most loves family members to start hating you for no conceivable reason.

Knowing what I know now would I do it all again? Yes. In an instant! I'll be coming out the far end of this completely outcast from my family and despised by all of them as they (according to what some of them have said so far) assure my life is a living hell and I get nothing (not the house I have to buy, not the insurance dad is paying for my eventual payment for caregiving, not even the things I own that are in the house), but I would not do anything different because despite one doctor after another saying my dad had only weeks, my dad has lived for years past where he was expected to have survived. Even within the past few months his heart doctor has said it is fully due to my level of love and care that he survived more than a week past my mom's passing.

Giving a loved one a full, long, happy life is worth any amount of hardship. The only regret I will ever have is that I was unable to somehow stop my mom's passing away, but I know I did my best in every way possible to care for her. There is just too much stress in being a caregiver and like me, she always put dad first, even before her own health.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

After Rodeo Concert - I wanna go!

I'm a cowgirl at heart, which means that there is still nothing quite like the atmosphere of a rodeo arena to me. I was looking a little while ago at the tickets to concerts at the Houston Rodeo that they have at Team One tickets and there is Keith Urban, performing on March 16th. No chance in heck I could ever made it there to see him perform at the Houston Rodeo, but OH MAN do I want to. I went all the way to Atlanta Georgia to see Keith in concert at the Fox Theater, but something tells me it would be so much better to see him perform after a rodeo.

I've never been to the Houston Rodeo & Livestock Show, but I grew up attending small town rodeos in northern Washington, and it is one of the things I will always miss is there not being good rodeos throughout the summer months up here in Alaska. If Keith were performing toward the end of the summer, then I think I might wrangle the cost of a road trip. My pards and I all met because of cowboys, and many of us have all come to be huge fans of Keith, so it would be great to be able to have another get-together at the Houston Rodeo to see the rodeo and Keith in concert, but there is no way I could pull it off in under 30 days.

Trash people won't get dumpster

Arrrrgh!!! Damn people that pick up the dumpster from our place are supposed to take the large dumpster away and bring us two tipper cans. The guy that drives the truck, who came in last month with the snow and stuff deeper than it is now, says he can not come into our driveway until it has been fully plowed out by a plow truck. Well what the F?! He was in here last month, far worse conditions, and had no problems. Now he says he can't come get it until I have the drive plowed out, which since I can't afford to hire a plow truck I will have to do by effing *HAND* on a hundred yard long driveway. Arrrrgh!!!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Do Family Caregivers Need Scrubs?

I've been a family caregiver for a long time now, most of my caregiver time is spent in a comfortable over-sized T-shirt and comfortable sweat pants pr PJ style pants.Makes one wonder if nursing scrubs might be a good alternative for a family caregiver to consider for everyday around the house wear.

The medical scrubs industry has long been seen as something that is just for nurses in hospitals and surgical scrubs, but it is so much more than that. There is a wide range of styles of scrubs that can be chosen from, including lab coats and student scrubs.

If you would like to see just what the options are for scrubs, check out the Scrubs and Beyond website for a wide range of not only scrubs, but other nursing and medical equipment carried in their many store locations across the States.

Care for a sports fanatic? Check out the student scrubs section for sports scrubs in official MLB and official NASCAR as well as college teams. Or maybe take a look at the animal prints that are best suited for veterinary scrubs to add a bit of fun to your care recipient's day?

Scrubs could also be great for a care recipient to wear for something that might be messy such as arts and crafts or gardening.

Check out the Scrubs and Beyond website at any of the above links for more information on scrubs and other nursing equipment such as stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs.

This post was sponsored by Scrubs and Beyond

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis.

Warm Temperatures

The weather here is warm, averaging in the high 20's to mid or high 30's range. Right now it is 35 degrees Fahrenheit outside, got to a hi of 40 overnight. Lots of melting snow, has been for the past few days.

Chances are we might be looking at a winter that the snow is gone by Easter, which we have not had in a very long time, but did have here probably 10 or so years back.

I for one would certainly not complain about having an early spring. I would love to see all that snow leave and stay gone.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Zenni Optical invites you to stop by their website. Take a look at the Zenni brand. Name brands can be very expensive, so instead of offering them, Zenni Optical makes their own brand and keeps the prices of their eyeglasses affordable enough for nearly anyone.

Stop by the Zenni Optical website, take a look at the eyeglasses they offer, then compare their prices to other optical sites and shops in your area. Zenni Optical feels you will agree they offer high quality eyeglasses at affordable prices.

Eyeglasses can be an expensive investment, and for so many of us our budgets limit us to the most inexpensive frames available in our local discount store. Zenni Optical has eyeglasses priced at low rates, made affordable enough to allow for a much wider choice of frames than even the most inexpensive of local optical shops (at least for the ones near where I live).

Don't forget to check their returns page before you order, get familiar with how their return policy works. Note that it is to offer a 50% refund on the custom made eyeglasses, if returned within four weeks and if you have a code you will need to call and get.

For more information check out the Zenni Optical website at the above link, or the article at that has more information on Zenni Optical as well as how to get inexpensive eye exams.

This post was sponsored by Zenni Optical.

I have a long night ahead

It is 11:56 pm and I know that I have a very long night ahead of me. Dad has been in bed since about 9:30 (which is when I told him he was out of cigarettes), and after listening to the radio for about a half hour he started saying he wanted to get up. Telling him there are no cigarettes until someone can go to the store in the morning convinced him that staying in bed was a better idea. For a while. Now he's got this "I want to get up" grown going every few minutes, and yet when I go back there and tell him it's not morning he opts to go back to sleep - until the next time the radio wakes him up and then he assumes he slept all night and wants to get up - even though only a few minutes passed.

I turned the radio off and he is now sleeping for a bit, then making the most heart stopping "Aarrrrhhhhggghhhhh!!!!" type of groaning sort of sounds. I leap up and dash to the back of the house to check on him. He's fine. I head back to work and just as I get to the chair he makes sound again. I spin and sprint to back of house again. Repeat. Repeat...

Midnight and he's not sleeping well, but he needs to sleep in his bed because he is not getting restful sleep in his recliner, but I know already I am not going to get any sleep at all tonight. I'm also not getting much work done, because I keep leaping up to dash to the back of the house and check on him. The repeated sprinting with lack of sleep is starting to make me feel sickly and headachy.

Damn siblings are so ticked at me and him for not giving them all mom and his stuff after she passed away that aside from one brother's family they stopped coming around any more than maybe once a month or once every few months. Although one of the nephews did show up on a snow machine today and once again did not come in to say hi to their grandfather.

I guess by staying away none of them have to listen to him stop breathing every few minutes all night because of sleep apnea, or have him get mad that no one visits him, or get upset that his car was sent back home without a working heater or brakes so he can't even go anywhere... they don't have to stay awake all night long listening to dad, just to make sure he is still breathing. Don't have to sit and go over and over what they would do if anything happened to dad. Will not be here one day when he does not wake from a nap, or when one of those nighttime outcries is a heart attack or stoke. They can just settle back in their own homes and think of what a little brat I am for thinking I might one day try to buy my parent's house back from the bank it was mortgaged to.

It's nights like this that I just sit and cry, like I am now, and wonder what the hell I did that the family I have time and again done anything in my power to help would be so damn uncaring and hateful toward me when I am the one in need. I get more help and sympathy from the woman I knew, pretty much in passing, ten years ago that still sends me a yearly Christmas card.

12:35 now. It has taken me half an hour to write this because of how many times I have dashed to the back of the house to check on dad. I'm starting to think bringing him up to sleep in his chair and smoke all night would be better. I'll be awake all night, once again, either way.

AMACO Clay Art

I am an avid crafter with a particular fondness for creating art dolls using clay. Something I have always wanted to try my hand at, however, is pottery and creating clay art pots for plants.

I was looking over the AMACO/Brent website at the art clay and tools for working with clay that they have. They have everything from pottery to jewelery making available through the website, for skill levels ranging from kids to professionals.

Check out the lesson plans for one on overglazes and decorating tiles. And another lesson on glass casting, which is something that I would love to learn. Kids and adults alike will love the lesson on making bugs with polymer clay.

But, as I said, I would like to learn things like how to make clay art, and not bugs. More like the kind of art you would use mexican clay pottery and other art clays for creating decorative clay pots and jars.

Check out the website at any of the above links to find out more about the AMACO/Brent products for clay art.

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis.

What do you do with spare yolks?

I made dad a cheese omelet earlier with just egg whites, now I just have to figure out what to do with the leftover yolks. I'm thinking I might scramble them up for the dogs or something. Maybe make some sort of dog treat recipe that I can use the yolks in?

I did a fast search and came up with the following recipes I might look more closely at for ideas on where to start with creating a recipe to use up the yolks.

Rid-A-Flea Dog Treats

Dog Treat Recipes: More Biscuits

Dog Treats Recipe

Dog Treat Recipes for a Peppy Pooch

Happy Valentine’s Day

victorian-womanWishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day, whether you are in a relationship and looking forward to an evening of romance, or are one of many singles this year that will be taking advantage of a day made for self indulgence and pampering yourself like you never take the time for throughout the rest of the year.

Today is the day when all of us singles should take a few hours to indulge our desire to be pampered. To give ourselves an excuse to relax and not stress. To soak in a hot tub with candles and aromatherapy. Prepare our favorite meal and put on a movie that we adore.

This is the day when we might treat ourselves to a new soft bathrobe or comfortable pajamas. Indulge in a home perm. Maybe have a girls night out with friends that will end in a slumber party and a night of games and pampering reminiscent of our teen years.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Precious Metal Investing

Being a family caregiver, I have come to really appreciate the need to invest in my own future. This is a concern that is made more clear each time one of my siblings makes clear just how little help I will be getting in later years when I am no longer providing care for my dad.

So, to assure that my future has some kind of investment into savings, I have been doing a bit of dabbling in the stock market for a few weeks now. One investment I have been particularly interested in adding to my portfolio is precious metals.

I was not sure that I it would be possible to buy gold bullion in the same way you can buy stock in a company, but I have discovered not only is it possible to invest in precious metals, but there are several different kinds of metals, including platinum and palladium in which investors can invest.

Investments in platinum and palladium have been made possible by the recently launched Securities Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT) and Physical Palladium Shares (PALL), physically backed exchange-traded funds that allow investors to invest in physically backed holdings that are equal to one share equals one tenth of an ounce of metal.

This post was sponsored by


Last year I tried to make quilting a second business, but just as I was going to be getting things going, assorted life stuff kind of threw the plans out the side window. I have decided that I need to get back into it and get things sorted out so I can start making quilts that I can sell over the summer.

With that in mind, I have began working on a Tree of Life lap size quilt based on the old Progress pattern. It’s going pretty good so far.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

I made my dad a batch of peanut butter cookies last night. Tasty things that turned out fluffy, just very slightly crumbly, and oh so good.

First batch went before it was fully cooled, second batch was half gone by bedtime. The second batch was also slightly overcooked, so this morning they are a bit tough, but the fluffyness of them made it so they're not impossible to eat like sugar cookies can tend to get.

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup creamy peanut butter

Sift together first three ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder), and set aside.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter and shortening together until fluffy, add sugars one at a time and beat until fluffy after each. Add eggs and beat mixture until eggs are fully incorporated in mix. Add peanut butter and beat until well mixed and fluffy.

Add half of dry ingredients and beat, then add second half of dry ingredients. Dough will be soft and fluffy.

Scoop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet and press down slightly with a fork. Turn fork and press just enough to create the traditional cross weave fork imprint on top of each peanut butter cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 12 minutes - until bottoms have turned a golden tan. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Best served while still warm.

I made two dozen cookies and still have more than half a bowl of cookie dough that I wrapped in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Romantic Vacation

Post sponsor Karisma Hotels would like to invite you to consider the romantic possibilities of an escape to one of their five luxury hotels on the Riviera Maya as a getaway gift for you and your loved one this Valentine's Day.

The El Dorado Seaside Suites, an adults only resort on the Riviera Maya, is just one of the five romantic vacation riviera maya luxury hotels offered by Karisma Hotels.

Located on the white sand beaches of Kantenah, this secluded hotel offers a relaxed casual atmosphere and a touch of rich design with amenities that cater to those seeking a sensual experience.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Waiting at doctor's office

Took my dad to the doctor's office yesterday. That was exhausting. The appointment had been for 4 in the afternoon, but the doctor was running late, so the nurse said put off to 4:30. I knew that would leave us sitting in the lobby for a while still so I called back and asked if since we were having trouble with getting the transportation sorted out if we could move that back to 4:45? That was okay, but she said not much past that.

Ended up getting there at 5, which nurse said was great. Place closes at 5 and nurses go home at 5:30.

We settled into chairs to wait. And wait, and wait. It was right at two hours later that we were shown into the back. After we went through the vitals with the nurse we were shown back to the room at 7:15 to wait. And wait. Was right at an hour later when the doctor finally arrived. Got out of there and headed for gas station at 8:55 pm.

And what was the appointment for? Dad had some things he wanted to talk to his doctor about, but forgot most of them by the time he got a chance to see her.

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