Birds Feed

Taking down the tents: Blog Carnival Archive

The Blog Carnival Archive was transferred to a new blog page on Jan. 9, 2000. Please go there for the most current information on the various blog carnivals in which Don't Mess With Taxes participated. The midway was getting a little crowded on the old home page, so we're going to strike some of the tents and put a few rides in storage in this Blog Carnival Archive. This is the complete listing of the various carnivals, festivals and cavalcades that included a Don't Mess With Taxes entry. This listing does not, however, include the Carnival of Taxes. Access to... Read more →

Winging it

If you've ever perused my list entitled "Fun beyond taxes, truly!" about midway down the blog's left column, you've noticed a lot of avian references. That's because the hubby and I have been birders our entire married life. Maybe it was the change of terrain that sparked it. We started our marital life in the Washington, D.C., area and bought our first home in suburban Maryland. Coming from the desert scrub of West Texas and the farmland of the state's High Plains, we reveled in the region's abundance of trees, shrubs and water sources. One evening, out walking in our... Read more →

Springtime's natural and financial storminess

Our first spring in Central Texas has been fantastic. Early in the season, we discovered bluebonnets in our yard. When we moved into our house last summer, the flowers had long since bloomed and disappeared. Now we're collecting seed pods to spread around the property and help boost the number of gorgeous indigo patches next year. We also have enjoyed the return of the barn swallows. These graceful birds were here when we moved in, but left for winter. Our garage area has a carport extension that the birds find an acceptable substitute for the bridges where they often nest.... Read more →

Gimme shelter

The Internal Revenue Service is offering a wide-ranging tax shelter amnesty and the deadline to get in on the deal is Monday. Tax shelter. Just the name conjures up shady accountants and hidden bank accounts on tiny tropical islands. But tax shelters aren’t inherently illegal. A tax shelter is anything that provides a tax benefit. Purchasing a home is a great tax shelter, since you get the tax benefit of deducting mortgage interest and real estate taxes. But abusive tax shelters, well that’s different and, shall we say, problematic. In these cases, the whole idea is to evade tax. I... Read more →

Our own personal Wild Kingdom

A bird got in our house Monday night. It was quite an adventure for us all. It began when the poor little thing, a house sparrow, flew into our den window. We were trying to read our backlog of newspapers with the Sugar Bowl game on the TV as background (our own "talking lamp," so to speak), so our attention was somewhat divided. At first, the noise sounded distant, like something had happened toward the back of our backyard. Being curious, we (and by we, I mean my husband) went to check it out. He opened the back door and... Read more →