Story 16Aug2022: Back pain

Tuesday started out without much back pain at about 7ish. I had an appointment with a CPA today to better understand my tax situation. If there were tax efficiencies, I could incorporate into my paying all of the medical bills totaling over $8,000 a month. So it was a leisurely morning with me writing the blog and working on a project for a gift. The project is mainly done and just needs a few treatments of decal solvent to finish the look.

Breakfast was liberal Fare Trade coffee made in a French press as it is just for me. Next, I had cereal with a sliced banana. I wrote the blog while eating. Next, I showered and dressed. Lastly, I collected the notes, expenses summaries, copies of bills, all my statements, a copy of my 2021 tax return, and questions I wrote last night. I had arranged all of this in a notebook punching the paper to stay on the three rings.

Air Volvo had me in Hillsboro twenty minutes early, and I spent the extra time walking the streets looking at the changes. A building was lost to fire and is now just an empty hole; another building is gutted–the former food joint. Also, the old bank building is gone and is being replaced by an apartment building–urban living. It appears that food joints are not that well as Subway closed and the other food places are missing. A group of food carts shows that Hillsboro is following the new food trend.

The CPA, Darren, had me stand behind a glass shield after I arrived on time. I felt it was more of a bank transaction than sharing what I was looking for, but I went with it. We discussed tax issues, and Darren clarified that he was not licensed for financial planning, so I left the retirement questions unasked.

He discovered missed local 2021 taxes, after looking at my 2021 forms, that I had missed paying the Tri-Met tax. He could file a correction for me for $55, and the tax would be about $1,000 with penalties, ugh. He will do that for me, and I will pick it up next week. Darren also checked my pay stubs (I had those too for the last three months) and saw that Nike was withholding the Tri-Met tax, so there is no issue for 2022.

We also went over the main issue, and he said I could make some changes to write off my medical expenses after excluding those I paid with the 125 before tax saving program at Nike and after excluding 7.5% of my income worth of expenses. I was unsure if this was possible as there are strange limits now in place after the Trump tax cut (which increased my annual taxes by $3,000 after I reached the new limits for writing off local taxes called SALT). Darren was sure there were no limits and that I could improve my tax efficiency. He agreed that I have to be careful selling stock and options to pay for medical expenses as this increases my income, which moves the amount excluded higher.

I have a burden of record keeping for the medical expenses that I had already taken on. Therefore, I must carefully document the expenses and those paid by the 125 programs. Previously, I covered over $15,000 a month in medical expenses with Susie in a nursing home and me in cancer treatments; I will have to get documentation for those expenses when I was down with chemotherapy in the first part of 2022. Busy. Busy.

I thank Darren for his help. We also discussed and dismissed the idea of renting the house, and he will check if the electric car tax rebate is really extended–nobody is sure, he told me. No rush for me as I am still only dreaming of replacing the gas-using Air Volvo with the VW Van Electric in 2023-2024. I will have Darren do my taxes next year as we enjoy this new set of deductions together.

After that, I was tempted to have lunch in Hillsboro at their carts but instead headed home. Zorida was not available for lunch or dinner, so my plans were dinner in. I had the last of the Mediterranean pizza for lunch. It was still good.

While eating on the deck, I spotted yellow jacket wasps flying in and out of the ivy patch near the deck. I have a nest near the deck, yikes! I had bought a wasp trap earlier for when the wasps became an issue and followed the directions and hung it up on the pine tree in the far corner of the backyard. I also threw a sizeable spare tile over the ivy, and the yellow jackets swarmed- definitely a nest. I then watered the nest for ten minutes. Spraying when any of the venom-carrying nasties got close. I will continue to water them and hope to make them go away.

I am not allergic, but I managed to walk over a nest as a little kid and have disliked them ever since. So I will try not to go Ahab on them, but I do not want them near the deck!

I headed to the hummingbird house have checked that one wasp, a dreaded yellow jacket, was in the trap. It was working. The swarm was still a buzz after their washing. The traffic was not as bad as yesterday, and I was soon at the facility, parking in the seldom used parking for the basketball and tennis courts of Metzger Park.

Susie was still in bed. Jennifer said that Susie was not feeling well and went to bed after eating breakfast, and Susie also skipped lunch. Susie had a hectic day yesterday and seemed worn out.

Susie was thrilled to see me and woke up for me. She talked to her mother on my iPhone for a while, and I also covered the tax plan with Leta. Susie repeatedly apologized for the expenses–I reassured her that it was OK.

Susie decided to get out of bed, hop into the wheelchair, and go for a spin the Metzger Park and the local area. Jennifer, the live-in nurse aide, got Susie arranged, and we headed out. Susie loves getting out.

I took Susie down the street and through Metzger Park from the rear entrance. We soon reached the cedars that Susie loves. There is full shade and the peaceful. We watched an Oregon swallowtail butterfly fly through the area. This is not the same insect in the east, but a special Oregon-only one–likely somehow weird. However, it does feed on dragon wormwood in caterpillar form, suggesting it fits here.

We spent about an hour outside and then returned to the hummingbird house. Susie decided to still skip lunch and rest some more. So I left with a few kisses.

My back was beginning to hurt. I usually don’t have these problems. I suspect the strain of moving the grill did something, and I have not slowed down all week, and I may have been stressing my back more than I know. I stopped by Rite Aide, now the one miles away from my house as our local one closed, to pick up a prescription.

I tried the new Basics grocery store next door to the Rite Aide. I picked up frozen shrimp, some locally made sausage, and some Malbec wine on special. I returned home with the pain growing. I could just cook the sausage and some thawed sausage on the grill–the yellow jackets stayed away from the smoke and heat. I then painfully cut up the sausage and made jambalaya from a box. I added the shrimp and green beans (from the freezer) and let it all cook while I rested, trying to get my back to stop hurting.

While eating dinner, I watched most of the newest Matrix movie on my Apple. It was good. When I started to cook, the wine was opened, and I had a few more glasses, and between the light painkillers, the excellent food, and the wine–time for a nap.

The pain faded as I did, and I was not back awake until 9:30, having rested for a few hours. I could work now and did some writing and a few items on the project that needed a minor fix. I went to bed after midnight.



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