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Thursday, February 28, 2019

The taxman cometh.

I guess I can put it off no longer.  It's time to start working on our taxes.

I know I've complained here before and that's not changing this year.  I'll get it done but it is a multi-phase process for me.

Compiling all the forms is the first step.  Some are mailed and some are emailed and some have to be retrieved from various account websites.  So that process is one that takes me a  while and it never fails that halfway through I realize I don't have a form I need and have to go on the hunt.

The next step is simple.  Download TurboTax.

And then the real fun begins.  The final and longest step is, obviously, the actual inputting all the data into TurboTax.  Thank goodness that TurboTax does all the calculations because math and I are not friends. This step usually requires several days.  Not because i have that much data to input but because I get bored and/or overwhelmed.  Sometimes you just need a break.

But I've got time today so I guess I need to go ahead an get started because if you haven't noticed, TOMORROW IS MARCH 1st!  That only leaves me 6 weeks to get this done.  I think that should be just enough time.  :)

In other news, my sweet Sarah got her braces off on Tuesday.

The old gap between her two front teeth is gone and her teeth look great! 
This is her on her way to get braces in May, 2017.  Cute then. Cute now.  But I sort of miss the round baby face.

This morning was foggy and as the sun was coming up, it cast a pink hue on everything.  I couldn't resist snapping a picture of my favorite tree...

Isn't that gorgeous?  No filter, no nothing.  I just went outside and snapped it.  The pink didn't last long so I'm glad I got to see it.

And here is this past Sunday's dessert.  I made one of Dan's favorites - Chocolate Log Roll.

I used this recipe. The only issue I had is that I didn't have the correct size pan.  My pan was bigger which meant the cake was thinner and resulted in more frosting that cake.  Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Dan certainly didn't mind. But I am going to have to buy a smaller cake pan for next time.  Also, this cake is very labor intensive.  Don't think you are going to whip this out it took me a while but it was worth it.

I guess I've procrastinated enough.  Time to start getting my paperwork together.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

That teenager life.

The kids were out of school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Not because of weather (although we have had all the rain this week but thankfully no snow.  However, it did thunder last night so about a week from now we should be getting some if you believe the old wives tales.  And this one I do believe!)

Monday they were out for President's Day and Wednesday they were out because all the juniors were taking the ACT and none of the other grades had to be there.  They were out of Tuesday because when the Bishop came for Catholic Schools Week, he gifted them with a day off of the principal's choosing.  And she chose Tuesday which meant the kids had a FIVE DAY WEEKEND.

And do you want to know what they did on their long weekend? 

They slept in. 

(They must be teenagers.)

And when they weren't sleeping they were eating.

(Further proof of their teenager-ness.)

Sarah actually did manage to squeeze in a sleepover and birthday lunch with one of her school besties and 15 other girls.  If you were at the Genghis Grill on Monday, I apologize as there was probably a massive amount of giggling and selfie-taking going on. 

Track practice has started now so that is keeping Peter at school in the afternoons and means I get to pick Sarah up.  My taxi driver status doesn't show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

Sarah has decided to do another two month session of swim to get ready for summer league.  She thought about skipping it but decided she wants to do it so that she doesn't lose any of the speed she gained with her school swim team. 

She has also decided to be a manager for the men's lacrosse team.  That came out of left field but one of her friends at school is doing it and the coach was looking for two people to help so Sarah volunteered.

She's most excited about getting to eat out with the team when they have away games.  And she also thinks that doing this for four years will look good on her college applications.

I told her she might want to at least read up on lacrosse or watch some YouTube videos so she would have an idea as to what's going on.  She reminded me that she had several lacross units during PE in middle school and would be fine.  (She's not going to waste her time on a YouTube video that isn't fashion or make-up related.)

Apparently the team managers are responsible for occasionally sending emails and helping out the athletic trainer during the games.  Sounds like "water girl" might be a more fitting title than trainer.

And that's the latest around here.

And since it's taboo to have a blog post without a picture, here are a few of Wally enjoying last night's episode of Meet The Meercats on the Smithsonian Channel. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Swim meets and septic tanks.

Sarah headed to States on Friday right after school.  I think she was most excited about just getting to go with other members of the team, spend the night in the hotel with them, and be a part of something new and different.

Because she was only swimming the 400x100 relay, she wasn't swimming until the end of the day.  The 400x1 and the 500 are very long events.  All the other events have prelims in the morning session and the fastest 16 progress on to the evening session.  From those 16, the bottom 8 swim in a runner up heat and then the top 8 swim for the medals. However, the 400 and the 500 only swim in the evening.  This meant that Dan and I didn't even have to be there until 4:00 which is much better than 8:00 AM - especially since Cary is an hour and 45 minutes from our house! 

Sarah's relay team placed 18th in the state.  She was disappointed that they didn't do better but I was happy that she got to go and be a part of it.  And I hope she is able to go again next year.  Many of the swimmers at States are year round swimmers and since Sarah is only a half year swimmer I think making it that far as a freshman is an awesome accomplishment!

One of Sarah's teammates broke the state record for backstroke!  He is headed to NC State next year on a swim scholarship.  I am going to keep my eye out for him in the Olympics!

I got zero pictures of Sarah swimming on Saturday but I did manage to get a pic of her before she left for school last Friday morning.

I updated the little chalkboard sign in the kitchen with a note for my girl! 

In other news, our septic tank backed up yesterday.  I had noticed about a month ago that the downstairs toilet water would occasionally bubble and gurgle while I was doing a load of laundry. I mentioned it to Dan and told him we probably needed to get the septic tank pumped.

In our typical "why do something today that we can put off and do later when it is an emergency" fashion, we did nothing.  It was really no surprise then when I noticed our downstairs toilet was full of cauliflower rice. 

And lest you think I'm being gross, it was actual cauliflower rice that I had just moments before put in the disposal in the kitchen sink.  But before I realized it was cauliflower rice from the kitchen sink disposal I thought that someone had stopped up the toilet.

So I did what I do when the toilet is backed up and grabbed the best plunger of all time:

and got to plunging. 

Do you want to know what happens when you plunge a toilet that isn't flushing because your septic tank is full? 

Well, let me tell you.

The cauliflower rice ended up (along with all the toilet tank water) in the bathtub.


You rewad that correctly.  In the bathtub.

Realizing the problem, I immediately dialed our septic guy t and he said he could come out THursday morning. 

When the kids got home from school, I told them that they could not use the downstairs toilet and I didn't run the dishwasher or use the kitchen sink knowing that if I did, all that water would end up in the toilet and the bathtub.


So as Dan and I were happily watching tv and the kids were upstairs happily taking showers, I could hear what sounded like  water overflowing from the downstairs toilet.

I immediately ran into the bathroom and our toilet was flowing like a fountain.  I yelled for Dan who came running.

We yelled for Sarah to get out of the shower.  We grabbed any and all towels we could find and Dan went to the basement to get the wet vac.  I went to grab some old towels from the basement when I realized that the water pipe in the basement was overflowing too thanks to the backed up septic tank.  (If you aren't aware, all the water from your house (not just toilet water) exits into your septic tank.)

So we got the bathroom floors dried and then headed downstairs where Dan spent the next 45 minutes vacuuming up  the water down there.

But alls well that ends well.  The guy came this morning, dug up the ground over the tank.  He looked into and exclaimed, "Ooooh eeeeeee!  She's full!" 

(Um, I could have told you that!)

And then he checked the filter and said that was clogged too. 

(I could not have told you that because I didn't know septic tanks had filters.  Apparently it's a metal screens and all he had to do was rinse it off.)

He got the tank pumped and the filter cleaned and I did a test flush and it all went out to the tank immediately!

I paid him.  (I would have paid him double.)  And then got to cleaning out the bathtub that was still full of cauliflower rice and toilet water.  And just in case you were wondering it was CLEAN toilet water, well clean minus the fact that it had cauliflower rice in it.;

I used a strainer to get all the rice out because I didn't want to clog the bathtub drain and then I scrubbed and Cloroxed and I think everything is back to normal.

The septic guy was joking that he just did someone's tank that had recently lost power for three days.  She said that she would rather be without power for three days than without septic for one day.

AND I AGREE!!!!  You take things like flushing, bathing, dish washing and clothes washing for granted until you can't do them for 12 hours. 

It may be Valentine's Day and while I am very thankful for all the love that is surrounding me, I am most thankful for the ability to flush a toilet and not end up with cauliflower rice in the bathtub.

It's the little things, y'all!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The saddest weekend. The happiest weekend.

It's been exactly one week since my dad unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack.  We are all heartbroken and still trying to recover from the shock of him being gone.

The funeral service was beautiful and so many people came to pay their respects.  It did my heart good to see all the people lined up out the door waiting to speak to us.  That line hanging out the door brought me a small measure of peace. Please continue to pray for my family as we try to find our way without my dad. His stature and personality were large and he his absence leaves a gapping hole in our family.

Even among the sorrow of the weekend, we did have some occasion to celebrate.

Sarah had her regional swim meet on Friday evening.  Her 400 Free relay qualified for states and she was beyond thrilled.
Isn't this cute?  I accidentally took a burst of 65 pictures trying to get a good shot and my phone turned it into animation. 

That's Sarah in the center getting ready to swim her backstroke.

The team heads to Raleigh this weekend for the state championships.

And on Sunday, Peter received his Eagle Scout Award.  It was perfect except for the fact that my dad wasn't there.  Peter gave his mentor pin to my mom.  He was planning on giving it my dad but my mom happily accepted it.

My sweet Peter heading out to his very first Cub Scout meeting in first grade.

My sweet Peter heading out the door to receive his Eagle Scout award.
I was shocked to learn that only 4% of scouts make it to Eagle.  It has been a lot of hard work for him over the last 9 years but he did it and we could not be more proud of this kid!

Peter and Sarah - I know Grandpa is in heaven cheering you guys on.  You were his pride and joy.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Rest in peace, Dad.

My father passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday morning.  He was kind, cantankerous, funny, opinionated, smart, impatient, generous, and always willing and eager to help me with anything I needed no matter how big or small. He loved us with all his might and our family is not going to be the same without him. Please pray for my family.

Below is his obituary:

George W. Tesh, Jr., 76, passed away on January 30, 2019 at his family home.

A memorial service of his life will be held graveside at Enterprise Moravian Church on Enterprise Road, Lexington, NC at 11:00am on Saturday, February 2. The Reverend Arkon Stewart and Reverend Trudy Irving will be officiating. Visitation will be held prior from 10:00 to 11:00am in the Enterprise Fellowship Hall and the graveside service will immediately follow at the church cemetery.

Mr. Tesh is survived by his wife of 56 years, Donna K. Tesh, of the home. He is also survived by his daughter, Elizabeth “Beth” Cotell (Daniel) and his son, Bradley K. Tesh, all of Lexington. He is also survived by his two precious grandchildren, Peter Robert Cotell and Sarah Donna Cotell. Also surviving are his two brothers, David A. Tesh of Clemmons, NC and Steven W. Tesh of Greenville, SC.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Lois Tesh, two brothers, Lee Tesh and John Tesh, and two sisters, Polly Daniels and Rachel Harvey, and a precious granddaughter, Rebecca Irene Cotell.

Mr. Tesh graduated from North Davidson High School in 1960. He attended North Carolina State University and from there he joined the US Air Force for four years. After the USAF tour, he worked several years at R.J. Reynolds and Fogle Brothers Lumber Co. He then worked for 36 years at Publicom, Inc., of Roanoke, VA. After retiring from Publicom, he continued to work part time for them as a consultant.

Mr. Tesh was born and raised at Enterprise Moravian Church and loved the Lord with all his heart. He loved to read the Bible and study his Sunday School lessons. He received many blessings with this time spent with the Lord. He was a longtime Sunday School teacher at Enterprise Moravian and Beulah UCC and served as a board member of these church boards.

Mr. Tesh’s delight was in his two grandchildren, Peter and Sarah. He loved to have them come down and visit him with many hugs, kisses and the stories of their day. He delighted to tell his friends about his grandchildren and their accomplishments and adventures.

Mr. Tesh had a beautiful bass voice, loved to sing and was a member of the Enterprise choir for many years. For a time, he was the bass singer in the Arcadians Gospel Quartet. In his later years, he became a KCBS BBQ Judge and enjoyed traveling to and judging many events. He enjoyed spending time at Oak Island and rocking away the day on the front porch watching the waves. He loved grilling and smoking many kinds of meats for family and friends and was always delighted when someone enjoyed his finished product.

The family chose this scripture for George, their husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather.
Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.