Coffee heat rising

Winter Doldrums: Workman Waltz, Round 2; Taxman Cometh

{moan} The wind whipped at about 30 to 40 mph all day yesterday and all night long. It was supposed to freeze last night but did not—fortunately. I couldn’t keep the covers on any of the plants; everything blew off in the wind no matter what I did to try to weight them down with rocks and bricks or to clip them with clothespins. But today an arctic air mass is riding in on that cold wind, and temps are supposed to drop into the 20s tonight and tomorrow and maybe Friday, too.

Whenever the headache subsides, which it will after breakfast and a long stand under a hot shower, I’ll have to go out there, saw up some sticks from the defunct trellises, pound them into the ground, sew lengths of twine onto the cloths with an upholstery needle, and tie everything down. Boy. That sure sounds like fun.

The roofing guys are back, tromping and banging overhead again. What a rough bunch that crew is! Holy mackerel.

Yesterday they scraped the old roof off and started hammering the new shingles down. Cassie the Corgi went ballistic. I ended up leaving her at La Maya’s house when I went to campus, for fear that she would make herself sick if she were left here alone in such a frantic state.

These guys lack the tradesmanlike skill of my old roofer. They’re just rough-and-tumble laborers. They yanked off the flashing around the deck, which the last guy didn’t do. Bila had painted the flashing to match the house, so now that will have to be redone, by guess who. Then there’s the shingles, which are darker than I realized they would be. I asked for a deep brown, which these are…but very deep. From a distance, they look black. And they’re pretty ugly against the light brown slump block on the house.

I’m not 100 percent pleased with the new heat pump, either. When the weather is mild (i.e., when you don’t really need the heat on), it works just fine. But when it gets cold, a heat pump loses efficiency and struggles almost nonstop to deliver warm air. In fact, at times it will blow icy-cold air into the house. I finally got tired of listening to it run last night—even set at 63 degrees the unit wasn’t shutting off, and it never fell much below 40 outside—so around 3 a.m. got up and turned the damn thing off.

As a result, it’s might’ crisp in here. Cassie’s little feet, the only part on her that’s not swathed in a three-inch-thick fur coat, have turned into small blocks of ice. I huddle in front of the computer wrapped in a fleece jacket and dread the prospect of having to step out of the shower later this morning. Sure am glad I don’t live back east, though!

More crap than Carter has oats has blown into the pool, there to join the debris tossed off the roof by the workmen. What a mess to clean up! No one expects roofing to be a tidy job, but really, it’s not necessary to throw your pop bottles and your garbage into the customer’s yard.

Spent a couple of hours with the new tax accountant last night, figuring out my taxes. She appears to be very good. Clued me to a lot of things about the way an S-corp works that the retired tax lawyer never bothered to explain. As it develops, the Copyeditor’s Desk can pay for some things directly related to its business activities that I’ve been paying out of my personal account, one of them being the Internet connection and another being subscriptions to publications directly related to and supporting Funny about Money. It’s not very much, but relief of even a few dollars in the monthly nondiscretionary budget will help a lot.

Looks like I may be about to pick up a new client. The executive director of a trade group I belong to referred the University of Arizona’s agricultural college to me; they’re looking for someone to freelance some stories, all of which look entertaining and interesting. So that will be a nice break from the freshman comp grind and will help to fund CE Desk so it can cover these proposed extra expenses.

At any rate, after talking with the CPA, I now can see that setting up the S-corp was quite a good idea, much better than I’d realized. It would’ve helped if someone had explained its benefits to me in detail, rather than dismissing my questions with a short answer of the “you must be a moron” variety. {sigh} I thought my ex-husband’s ex-law partner was doing a good job on the taxes, but apparently she could’ve been doing better.