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It's been awhile

So last time I wrote we were just in the beginning stages of being shut down.  And it worked, it really did.  Our numbers on this side of the mountain are good.  There are still new cases, we're all being very careful (well, most of us that don't have political motivations, anyway) and so far, so good.  We just have to keep on keeping on.

I am still mostly working from home.  I don't know if I mentioned it before, but my knees are crap.  They both needed to be replaced.  I had scheduled the first surgery for April 22, right after the tax deadline, but of course that didn't happen.  On May 7, I got a phone call from the surgeon, he could do it May 13 if I was free.  So I moved heaven and earth to be free.  It went very well.  The recovery has taken much longer than I expected (I had told clients I'd be back in the office in two weeks, it was more like four) but overall I'm happy.  It's been five weeks tomorrow.  There is very little pain.  Still a lot of sti…

Grocery store

Today I stopped at the grocery store for the first time since this all started.  Emily and Joe have done some shopping, and I always have a good supply of stuff, so I just haven't needed to go until now.

I went during the dinner hour, when it's usually packed.  There were probably one third the number of people I would expect to see at that time of day.  About half the people were wearing masks and gloves.  There was a young man stationed at each door, wiping off the handles of the carts before people took them.  There's plexiglass sheets up in front of the checkers and the Starbucks barista.  There are decals on the floor, directing you which way to go in the aisle (they're narrow enough that the store decided to make them one way only.)  Most annoying, since I always go THIS way in that aisle, and now you must go THAT way.

There was plenty of food.  I didn't check out the toilet paper because I didn't need any, but the cat litter was decimated.  It takes up h…

A few things that are irritating me today

I still have work to do.  A lot of it.  For good clients, who get me the information I need, sign what I tell them to sign and pay their bill promptly.

I've got a few that drive me nuts, not doing the above.  One family in particular is a thorn in my side.  The wife does a little bit of self-employment.  She is completely incapable of keeping track of her expenses.  Which is fine, I will file the return without the expenses, but oh god no, that might make them pay an extra dollar in tax.  She'll get them to me.  She never does.  They make appointments and don't show up.  Three years ago, they waited until Oct. 15, when I happened to be out of town.  They had my partner do their return and then told her that they couldn't pay just then but they would as soon as possible, and Mary always lets them do that (I don't).  She told them they needed to pay and they disappeared for another year.

Now there are stimulus checks, and you know they're all over that.  They are…

Stimulus checks

The bill has passed the Senate.  It has not passed the House.  It has not been signed by 45.  And everybody and their brother is calling and emailing me wanting to know when they're going to get their checks.  God.  They're interfering with me answering the people who want to get their tax returns done so they can get their checks.

I know people are desperate.  I get it.  Michael thinks he's going to get laid off.  I have dozens of clients who made a good living running small businesses who are 100% out of work now.  These are scary times.  But the law hasn't even passed yet!

I am on the board for a small non-profit.  Our purpose is to provide support to people in crisis.  We give up to $500 for rent, utilities, transportation, food, things like that.  We've been giving money away for eight months now, and we usually have six or seven requests per month.  One of our board members thought it would be a good idea to post in a big Facebook group asking for donations s…

Unreal

I have been doing taxes for 21 years, and this is the weirdest tax season ever.  I started getting nervous about all the clients who still wanted to come in.  We can do everything remotely, I have clients I haven't seen in person in years -- but there's still always the ones who insist they have to come in.  It's interesting too, it's the older ones who are most at risk.  The young people are staying home. 

Last week we agreed we'd keep working and stop having clients in, but my partners kept seeing people.  One of them says it takes too long to do it remotely.  The other likes news of a different kind than I do, and thinks it's all being blown out of proportion.  Even though she has an autoimmune disease and is the most vulnerable of all of us.

Saturday I'd had enough, I packed up my files and brought them home and have been working here ever since.  Monday the governor asked people to stay home, so the sensible partner packed up her files and took them ho…

Corona virus

It's very interesting living a few miles from ground zero.  My nephew attends a school that sent nursing students to the nursing home where there are multiple cases.  And today he found out that one of his professors visited a relative at that same nursing home the day before it broke out there.  That professor is self-quarantining, and my brother's family are staying well away from my mom for a few weeks.

I have my usual spring cough and sniffles, it's allergies.  I get it every year.  No big deal.  Except every time I cough, people jump and look at me funny.

I went shopping Sunday night, because we were running out of toilet paper.  The toilet paper aisle was bare.  The store looked like it had been stripped by locusts.  People are hoarding toilet paper and water (why water?  Water shouldn't be affected!) in case we have to stay home for awhile.  Even Costco has people posted at the front door letting people know they're out of toilet paper and water before they …

Lucky

It's been a tiring couple of weeks.  One partner is deliberately trying to keep her stress down by sitting in her office, working on not much, not answering the phones.  The other partner is highly annoyed about this and is having trouble concealing her irritation.  There's been enough snow that I had to work from home a couple of days.  One of the days, Boeing closed so Joe didn't have to work, and amused himself sitting and talking to me while I tried to work.

But.  I am so so lucky.

A woman I went to grade school with has that horrible breast cancer gene in her family.  Her mom died of it, and several of her sisters have suffered from it.  Now her daughter has it.  Her 35 year old daughter, who is the mother of two little girls and is also pregnant.  Oh my god, I can't even imagine.  Daughter has decided to postpone chemo until the baby is born.  I can't imagine having to make that choice, and I can't imagine having my daughter go through it.  They are the n…