Tag Archives: taxes

Trying To Get Organized?

by Kimberly A. Cook

At the end of each year my friend Carol and I say, “Next year we’re getting organized.” We’ve been saying that for more than thirty years now. I don’t think it’s taken. Not for lack of trying mind you. It comes down to stuff and paper. No matter how I try, eventually one day I’m overwhelmed. Today could be that day.


Spec Ops Cat got a new kitty cave bed last weekend. He loves it. Temporarily put it on the chair. Now it’s permanent. I could use a Kim cave myself.


It’s a constant battle. Stuff I can rotate and control to some degree; I purge clothes and books on a regular basis. Kitchen items and towels are a little harder. But paper really takes the cake.

One of the hazards of being a writer is clipping newspaper articles, hoarding books, keeping travel handouts and collecting office supplies. When you have a Scrat brain, every handout, business card and coupon can spark an idea.

Going digital hasn’t helped. The number of bookmark folders on my Samsung tablet alone are mind boggling. So I keep trying.

Add to the mix my Mom’s recent move and all kinds of interesting stuff ended up in my house to process. Of course, that has forced me to get rid of the leftover garage sale items to Goodwill so Subie can actually open her doors inside the garage.

Now, truth be told, if I hadn’t dragged home the wooden park bench from my Mom’s backyard that needs refinishing, the garage would have been okay. Kinda. But once I sand it, scrub it and paint it pink, it will make a fabulous addition to the fairy rock garden this summer. My name is Kim and I’m a project-aholic.

But paper. Yuck. Almost finished sorting the receipts for taxes. Now that is a land speed record for me to have that done in January. Go me.

But, it’s raining and dark outside. A new box of jewelry goodies I ordered has been open for two weeks and I haven’t been able to play with it yet. Its siren song is calling me across the office. Then I have a bunch of Hallmark holiday movies still clogging my DVR.

Plus those Christmas cookies never got baked and the ingredients are still waiting on the kitchen counter. Playing with jewelry parts, watching a movie and eating fresh baked cookies. Forget the paperwork for today.

I’m sure I’ll need to follow Spec Ops Cat’s lead and take a nap too.

Tomorrow I’m going to get organized! How about you?



Filed under Crafting

A Cat’s Office Work Is Never Done?

by Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Spent my day off yesterday working in my home office. Hallelujah! Not only did I find the top of my desk, I also managed to sort papers to start taxes. My goal this year is to make my C.P.A. faint by turning in my taxes early. One can hope.


Spec Ops Cat hard at work doing the office grind. 


While I was slaving away sorting tons of paper and later out trimming my roses, Spec Ops Cat had the tough job of trying to find comfy places to sleep. You can see from the photo he managed to cozy up on his pink blanket on my desk for an afternoon sun nap. Sometimes he got up and tried to rearrange my receipts or step on the computer keys; a cat’s work is never done.

When he wasn’t messing up my keyboard the tech Gods did shine on me and I managed to get the photos transferred from my Samsung Galaxy SII phone to my computer by using the card reader I blogged about earlier. Of course it did not go smoothly, since at first I was trying to upload pics from my SIM card, but once I figured out I had to use the tiny SD card, it worked much better.

Accomplishing this task also shed some light on my email phone problem. Once I started to delete photos on my phone, emails began to appear. Odd. Dawned on me it is a memory issue. Turns out the mini SD card in the phone has a whopping 1G of memory. Really? Must go buy mini/micro whatever it is with more memory.

Everything needs accessories and more memory! Including me.

Got phone memory issues? Got helpful office cats?


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Filed under Toys

Is It Really Possible To Be Organized?

by Kimberly A. Cook                 (Twitter@   WarriorTales)

Finished doing my taxes Sunday so I could drop them off to my accountant. Every year I promise myself I’m getting them done in February and most years I don’t make it. They are a piece of cake with the day job, but it’s  the writing business which requires me to become OCD receipt girl.

Spec Ops Cat working hard on my desk to help me with taxes. See how concerned he is? Not!

Spec Ops Cat working hard on my desk to help me with taxes. See how concerned he is? Not!

Last week I was pondering just when my normally organized self got led astray. I’m pretty sure two major milestones are the cause. One was when I moved into my second house and the movers dumped my fabulously organized file cabinet upside down and I swear inside out. Those files never recovered.

Time two was when I went to transfer my contacts from my Palm Pilot to the Blackberry phone. Turns out the one version of the Palm Pilot software I owned was the one version Blackberry did not like and would not talk to.

I have not been organized since. Even when I migrated to the Samsung Galaxy S2 and grudgingly put in a few contacts, I kept carrying a paper list.

Then my Samsung died dead. Nada. Never to recover. The AT&T geek guy even replaced it free of charge after only three months since he couldn’t get it to work either. They thought it was me. Ha!

I’d bought the bestest niftiest backup program and all that was saved were a few photos since I still use a camera. Contacts all gone again. I’m staying with paper.

The more I try to streamline and simplify my life, the more the tech and bureaucracy gods are out to get me. I’m not paranoid if it’s true. So one more year of receipt chasing is in the books and I have grand and glorious plans to do it better next year.

Earlier! With unicorns and fairy dust! And Keebler elves……

Taxes done?



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Filed under Writing Biz

Got Pets? Have A Current Computer Back Up?

by Kimberly A. Cook             (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Sunday I walked into my home office to pay some bills and found Spec Ops Cat had gifted me with a hairball – on my finished taxes on the desk. Not a tragedy, my CPA filed my returns electronically two weeks ago so this was the paper copy, but point taken. The open laptop right next to it survived unscathed. One never knows when a hairball or computer crash might happen.

Spec Ops Cat helping out in the office - as a paperweight.

Spec Ops Cat helping out in the office – as a paperweight.

Having “worked for the government” I am paranoid about multiple backups. The rule of three backups with one being off-site is never far from my mind. I don’t even erase my photo memory cards after they are on my computer, I keep them as archives.

I use Carbonite online to backup my computer automatically and I put everything on thumb drives too, plus I have an external hard drive which backs up my computer. No, I’m not using the Cloud yet, but I’ve toyed with Dropbox, but I want my files with me so we shall see about the whole Cloud concept.

My paranoia goes back to my Army logistics training I think – if you don’t have it with you, you don’t have it – that applies to food, fuel, toilet paper and digital photos and documents. A burned CD copy of my book is in my fire safe and still riding around in my car.

Adding photos and videos into the backup equation besides my writing documents increases the memory needs. My first computer used 5 1/4 inch disks and had no hard drive. Now we are all overwhelmed with trying to preserve our digital memories and work to avoid a catastrophic digital disaster. Maybe using some old school ways of burying some DVDs or thumb drives in the backyard might be cool again.

With taxes over for this year, it’s a good time to consider keeping our writing, photos, videos, legal and financial documents safe. Protect yourself and your writing – backup now. Who knows what our pets are plotting for the rest of the year!


Filed under Writing Biz