The Looming Lome star Debacle

Dear Librans,

I’m honestly more than a bit perplexed at the Texas governor’s decision this week to do away with the mask mandate AND allowing businesses to open at 100% capacity beginning on March 10. 😟

Allegedly, this decision was a pure political one and not based on medical advice — most likely due to the hands-off approach bye the Texas state republican Legislature that left mini Texans with out power and/or water After what was lovingly referred to as “snowmageddon.” You see, 2022 is our “general election” cycle here in Texas and the governor is up for reelection.

Health experts are still urging Texans to keep wearing masks as new and more contagious variants of the virus emerge. Hospitalizations continue to decrease after January record highs, but the state is also still averaging more than 200 deaths a day.

The Texas Tribune spoke to some small business owners — “…At least one business owner, Macy Moore of HopFusion Ale Works in Fort Worth, said Wednesday on CNN that he had not slept since Abbott’s announcement because he’s so worried about the health and safety of his staff. Others, like Anne Ng of Bakery Lorraine in San Antonio, have decided to keep mask requirements in place for staff and customers regardless of what Abbott and the state government say.”

Yes, it’s up to individual Texans to keep themselves safe but that prospect will become exponentially more difficult to do with no mandates in place. My personal mask wearing will protect those who choose not to wear a mask from me but I won’t be protected at all from non-mask wearers.

I’m still going to self-quarantine, Wear my mask when I do have to go out, keep 6 feet distance and wash my hands/use hand sanitizer. I’m not eligible just yet to receive the vaccine. I Will continue to support local business by ordering products to be delivered and requesting contactless delivery.

I can only Hope that many more Texans will be like me so we can get back more to a semblance of normal soon…

Love and Light!

It’s Tax Time

WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW THIS?

Every year many disabled and senior citizens go to a commercial tax preparation service and pay a fee to have their taxes prepared and/or get an advance on their return. Getting an advance on a tax return is not advisable for those receiving Social Security Administration disability benefits. Paying for tax preparation may not be necessary for many customers.

Customers earning below $57,000 gross annually may qualify for free tax preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA is an IRS funded grant program that assists qualified individuals in preparing and electronically filing their own tax returns at no cost. Due to COVID-19 some VITA sites may not be operating this year. See below for link to VITA sites.

AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program assists those 50 and older who are low to moderate income with assistance in preparing, or doing the preparation of tax returns . Go to the AARP website for more information: https://taxaide.aarpfoundation.org/?cmp=RDRCT-30faaa25-20210218.

Customers with adjusted gross income of $36,000 or those who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit can file their taxes online for free through Turbo Tax: https://accounts-tax.intuit.com/turbotaxonline (no assistance provided).

Customers with adjusted gross income between $14,000 and $69,000 can file for free via OnLine Taxes: https://www.olt.com/main/home/default.asp (no assistance provided).

Active duty members of the military with adjusted gross Incomes of $69,000 or less can file for free using Turbo Tax or OnLine Taxes (no assistance provided).

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax assistance to those age 60 or older: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-counseling-for-the-elderly. Check the individual organization’s site for income restrictions.

SERVICES PROVIDED BY VITA PROGRAMS

The VITA programs are operated by IRS-certified volunteers.

Sites will prepare:

· Wages, salaries, etc. (Form W-2)
· Interest Income (Form 1099-INT)
· Dividends Received (Form 1099-DIV)
· State Tax Refunds (Form 1099-G)
· Unemployment Benefits (Form 1099-G)
· IRA Distributions (Form 1099-R)
· Pension Income (Forms 1099-R, RRB-1099, CSA-1099)
· Social Security Benefits (Form SSA-1099)
· Simple Capital Gain/Loss (Form 1099-B)
· Sale of Home (Form 1099-S) limited
· Self-employed Income (Form 1099-MISC) limited
· Gambling Winnings (Form W-2G)
· Cancellation of Debt (Form 1099-C) limited
· Health Savings Accounts (Form 1099-SA) limited
· Itemized Deductions limited
· Education Credits (Form 1098-T)
· Child Tax Credit
· Earned Income Credit
· ACA Statements (Forms 1095-A, B or C)
· Prior Year and Amended Returns limited

WHAT SHOULD THEY BRING TO A VITA?

For married filing joint, both spouses must be present.
· All Forms W-2 and 1099;
· Information for other income;
· Information for all deductions/credits;
· A copy of last year’s tax return;
· Proof of account for direct deposit of refund;
· Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification notices/cards for the customer and/or spouse, and/or dependents;
· Proof of identification for the customer and/or spouse;
· Total paid to day care provider and provider’s tax ID number;
· Birth dates for customer, spouse and/or dependents on the return;
· Proof of foreign status if applying for ITIN;
· Forms 1095-A, B or C (ACA Statements); and
· For prior year returns, copies of income transcripts from IRS (and state, if applicable).

WHERE TO FIND A VITA

Use the VITA/TCE Locator Tool at: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers

Please share this information with your networks and join the conversation if I left off any resources.

Love and Light!

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The Evidence of Emotional Healing

This journey of healing has been fraught with U-turns, left turns and baby steps.  In the end, while I’m still making progress, I believe I’m making forward movement, finally!

 

Recently, I came across a person that I thought there was an instant energetic connection – our conversations were on point, our thoughts about life were similar and we seemed to want the same thing.  I was joyful at having met someone that was on the equivalent path in life of wanting to find a friend, a partner, a sacred space.  We talked for a few months before actually meeting, in light of this COVID-19 pandemic, but that was okay.  It allowed us more time to get to know one another.

 

I want to take a quick pause here and point out that I try not to think hostile thoughts about anyone that I open up to.  It’s important to me that I learn something from every connection I have.  I also realize that folks have their own pain that they’re dealing with and I honor that.  In the past, when I’ve been hurt, I’ve buried those emotions deep and ignored them to my own detriment. 

 

I CANNOT DO THAT ANYMORE!!

 

While I understand that each one of us is on some type of journey, I have to call bullshit when I see it – especially when someone handles me the wrong way unnecessarily.

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

 

This person visited me for my birthday and I could sense there was something different as soon as they walked through the door.  The “energetic connection” was no longer there.  I brought this up rather quickly in the visit and I began getting the language run-around.  This is when someone tries to talk to you without saying the truth.

 

I don’t want this post to turn into a rundown of this person so I will say that they were not honest with me and tried to use our shared interest of enlightenment to get around being truthful with me.

 

I know that I’m leaving out all of the juicy stuff – and trust, there is quite a bit of that – but I’m more interested in sharing something I learned about myself.

 

What did I learn?

 

·         I’ve made it further on the continuing road to healing than I thought I had!!

 

We can do all the meditation, yoga and Pilates and counseling we want.  Until we get to put everything we’ve learned into practice, we’ve only learned theory.

 

This situation has forced me to realize that I took in a lot during my knowledge gathering.   I’m truly happy for that!

 

This didn’t mean that I wasn’t, and continue to be, disappointed or mean I can’t grieve for the loss of what could have been.  It does mean, however that my automatic reaction was not to retreat and put my feelings six feet under and ignore them and pretend that nothing was wrong.  I was able to work through my feelings of anger faster and in a more constructive way – mainly in dealing with how I can improve.  Another important thing is that I didn’t fight to try to fix someone that isn’t fighting to fix themselves.  That is not my responsibility – it is theirs and theirs alone.

 

One day if this person wants to be a friend, I think I will be able to be open to that.  But if they don’t, I’m finally able to realize that it would be their loss if they don’t – and I’m okay with that!

 

PS – How have you dealt with disappointment?  I’m still learning and would welcome firsthand, constructive thoughts on this.

 

Love and Light!