Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Let's Begin!

At the passage of the bill, one of the Republican Congressmen said to keep 3 dates in mind in Year 2018:
January 1, February 1
and April 15.

Well, here we are on the cusp of the 1st day of year 2018.  The highlights are all we've got so far:
(I am writing this post on December, 2017). 

pc: forbes

pc: Forbes

pc: Forbes
  • If you are over age 65, blind or disabled, you can tack-on $1,300 to your standard deduction ($1,600 for unmarried taxpayers).

Compare the above tables to the IRS' 2017 tax rates HERE
You can read the above Forbes article in full HERE.

Otherwise, here are a few more of the deets (via wikipedia & the White House) that caught my attention for a variety of reasons:

  • Family tax credits. The bill doubles the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000, $1,400 of which will be refundable. It also provides a $500 credit for other dependents, versus zero under current law.

  • State, local, sales, and property tax deduction. The deduction for state and local income tax, sales tax, and property taxes ("SALT deduction") will be capped at $10,000. This would have more impact on taxpayers with more expensive property, generally those who live in higher-income areas, or people in states with higher state tax rates.

  • Education deductions and credits. No changes are made to major education deductions and credits, or to the teacher deduction for unreimbursed classroom expenses, which remains at $250. The bill initially expanded usage of 529 college savings accounts for both K-12 private school tuition and homeschools, but the provision regarding homeschools was overruled by the Senate parliamentarian and removed. The 529 savings accounts for K-12 private school tuition provision was left intact.

  • Alimony deduction. Alimony paid to an ex-spouse will no longer be deductible by the payor. However, alimony payments will no longer be included in the recipient's gross income. This effectively shifts the tax burden of alimony from the recipient to the payor. This provision is effective for divorce and separation agreements signed after December 31, 2018.

  • Moving expense deduction. Employment-related moving expenses will no longer be deductible.

  • Tax preparation expense deduction. Expenses related to preparing and filing your taxes (such as accountants or tax-preparation software) will no longer be deductible.

  • Mortgage interest deduction: Mortgage interest deduction for newly purchased homes (and second homes) would be lowered from total loan balances of $1 million under current law to $750,000. Interest from home equity loans (aka second mortgages) will no longer be deductible, unless the money is used for home improvements.

  • The corporate tax rate would fall from 35% to 21%, while some related business deductions and credits would either be reduced or eliminated
  • Members of Congress will no longer be able to deduct their living expenses.
  • A 21 percent excise tax will be imposed on compensation over $1 million paid to executives at tax-exempt organizations.
  • The loophole used to deduct executive compensation over $1 million will be eliminated.
Let the [Tax-cut] adventure begin!

The White House: The Tax Cuts Act

Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of Year 2017

Preliminary Details & Analysis



Friday, December 29, 2017

People Who are Lost and Alone

Our daughter's dog ran off and ended up at least a mile away from his home.  Thank God for a couple of kind people who were nice enough to make the effort to catch him and call my son-in-law via the info on his dog-tag.  It's upsetting to even imagine what could have happened to the poor Pup if no one had cared.

 Yes, poor, lost, lonely Pups we feel sorry for.  What about poor, lost, lonely people?  Is it the fault of our modern world and its "toys"?  Is it a heart or Sin problem that would occur no matter the time or the location?    Watch the short animation below.

Are You Lost In The World Like Me?


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Old Love Interests Never Die

There were recent FB posts of DH's first serious girlfriend in Milan on an outing with mutual friends.  Hard to look at her without feeling a pang of jealousy.  After all, she's  still lookin' good.

Can't forget a certain female relative when then-boyfriend/DH first introduced me. We were dating seriously and BF had dumped this pretty girlfriend whom said relative had actually met in the old country.

This lady obviously wears her heart on her sleeve as she was aghast at his choice of yours truly. Her disapproval was palpable. I assumed I was not pretty enough ... not good enough ... not smart enough -- all of the above, none of the above -- fill in the blank.  I faked a smile and bore her dislike of me like a trouper (I sincerely hope I came across as such). Mercifully, she stopped speaking and just stared.  I could hardly wait to get away from her.

Well, fast forward to now and she remains a relative and our lives are intertwined whether I like it or not. Distance and the rare times we are actually face to face has enabled me to dislike her less. But she and family members are on FB. There's no avoiding her completely.
I've shown GF's picture to our kids and say she could have been their mother.  They insist that their Dad chose well and that I'm the better looking one.  Good answer, kiddos, LoL!  

  Keep an eye on the girl with the glasses & pink shirt.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December 26: National Candy Cane Day

Look at the Candy Cane,
what do you see?
Stripes that are Red
like the blood shed for me.

White for my Savior
Who's sinless and pure
"J" is for Jesus
my Lord, that's for sure!

Turn it around
and a STAFF you will see
Jesus my Shepherd
is coming for me.


Monday, December 25, 2017

Otagiri Collectibles

Drink Hot Tea -- it's one good idea on how to stay warm and cozy this Winter.  Daughter is a cat lover, so had to purchase this Christmas-cat teapot cutie for her college apartment. Purchased for less than $4 from my favorite resale shop. May she use and enjoy it in good health, Lord willing.  
Otagiri, I'd never heard of; but Enesco which now owns them is based not too far from our home. Who'd ever forget their partnership of several years with Precious Moments?  

History of Otagiri

Precious Moments Giftware


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Tea or Teabag Steep Times

  FYI*:  Steeping your tea for too long can make it taste bitter.  Here are some recommended steep times when you're using teabags.  Adjust to your tastes, of course!

GREEN tea:  1-3 minutes
BLACK tea:  3-5 minutes
WHITE tea:  30-60 seconds
OOLONG tea:  3-5 minutes

Instead of standard sugar cubes, seek out flavored versions instead.  Infused with tea-friendly flavors like lavender, mint or lemon, they're often found in pretty colors like purple, green or yellow, too. 

pc:  beau-coup
*source: Mackenzie-Childs mailer

3-qt Tea Kettle

Flavored Sugar Cubes

MacKenzie-Childs Tea Kettle


Friday, December 22, 2017

UN Assembly: List of Countires in Favor or Abstained in Votes Regarding Jerusalem

UN defies Trump.  

If you are a country that is not on these lists below, beware! The USA will have its eye on you.
I am almost thankful for the actions of the Philippines, Mexico, and Canada.  They may have done the wisest thing possible.
Note: those of us who voted for Mr Trump as POTUS did so because we wanted someone decisive, and unafraid; and one who is unashamedly supportive of Israel and judicious in the funding of worthy causes. 

complete list: who rejected — by abstention or vote — the “irresponsible” U.N. vote
these countries were praised by Nikki Haley

UN Defies Trump

128 Voted in Favor of Measure Rejecting Trump

Eight Who Backed President Trump

List: Countries Who Love America


Thursday, December 21, 2017

I Nominate UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for female POTUS

Whether it's N. Korea or the Middle-East, what an absolutely awesome UN  Ambassador! 

 You go, Ms Haley!  Great veto vote.  How dare the UN tell our country where to locate our American Embassy?!!! The absolute gall of these Israeli-hating bunch of inept, do-nothings, grrrr. 

  "Teddy Roosevelt once said that the key to foreign policy is to "walk softly and carry a big stick." In the past year,  Nikki Haley, the American Ambassador to the United Nations has been doing just that. This week, she's ever-so-gently been nudging anti-Semites at the U.N. with that stick."  -- Trey Bennett

Read the rest of the story below:

Nikki Haley's speech to the UN

speech before UN Assembly

pc: Breitbart


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Chanel: Pink Wool Suit Worn by Jackie Kennedy Won't be Seen in Public Anytime Soon

via owlcation
Additional documents were recently released on President John F Kennedy's assassination. This "Chanel" suit was worn by FLOTUS, Jackie Kennedy, when it happened.  The POTUS had liked the suit and wanted her to wear it to Dallas.  She wore the suit at least 6x prior to the Dallas event.

It is a strawberry-pink wool bouclĂ© double-breasted suit with navy trim, matched with a pillbox hat.  Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy was encouraged as FLOTUS to Buy American, so the parts of the suit came from Chanel, Paris; but the outfit was actually assembled by  Chez Ninon, NY.

-- Steve Brawley

The Public has not seen the blood-stained suit since the horrid days in TX.  It was stored away soon after the assassination and eventually sent to the National Archives via Jackie's mother.  It was officially and legally donated to the United States by daughter Caroline,  Jackie's sole heir, in the year 2003.  It came with a stipulation:  it cannot be publicly displayed for 100 years.  The reason?  So as not to "... in any way to dishonor the memory of the late President or cause unnecessary grief or suffering to members of his family."

None of us reading this will be here in the Year 2103.  But it will likely be seen by our children's grandkids, Lord willing.  It will look amazing and almost new as the suit and accessories (bag, stockings, but not the white gloves or the hat) are stored in an acid-free, custom-made box with temperatures between 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity level is kept at 40%. The air is changed daily @ 6x per hour.  Environmentally perfect!
The president and his wife arrive at Love Field, Dallas

Chanel Haute Couture jacket, F/W 1961. Jacqueline Kennedy's pink Chanel suit was
 a line-to-line copy made by Chez Ninon in New York based on the original design.
This is an original haute couture jacket made by Coco Chanel in Paris.
 Adnan Ege Kutay Collection -- wikipedia 

Vintage News

12 Fascinating Facts About the Pink Suit

National Archives, Maryland

Pink Chanel Suit of Jackie Kennedy

JFK Assassination Records


Monday, December 18, 2017

Health Alert: the FLU-pocalypse of 2017-18 is Coming!

 There may be ZERO benefits to your getting the flu shot this year. 

Based on Australia's experience as they wrap up their Flu Season, our flu season will be as miserable and will affect many more:

That's right, folks. Things didn't go exactly as planned. The "experts" in the medical field are as human and prone to mistakes and miscalculations as the rest of us common folk.  

Read the rest of the article (written by  By ) in the link below:

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hymn: In Christ Alone by J Keith Getty

Happy Birthday to composer, Keith Getty (born 16 December 1974).  Below is a video of one of his most beloved, most requested, most sung, most popular hymns. Sung by his wife, Kristyn. 

Awesome lyrics (Check-out the words in the link below), and doctrinally correct; co-written by Stuart Townend. 

(BTW, whenever popular, in-the-limelight Christian folk come to mind, I often say a prayer for them, in the name of Jesus Christ.  What pressures and besetting sins they face daily, God only knows.)

Lyrics: In Christ Alone

Julian Keith Getty

Kristyn Getty

Stuard Townend


Friday, December 15, 2017

Elisabeth Elliot on her Birthday

Remembering Elisabeth Elliot. 
Her date of birth is December 21, 1926. She passed on in June 15, 2015 at the age of 88. 

She became widowed while not quite 30 years old when her husband, Jim Elliot, became a martyr for Christ in Ecuador. Yet, she pressed on.  What great wisdom came from her life's experiences! 

I actually heard her speak at a Christian homeschool conference in Tennessee that we attended as a family a few years back. 

Elisabeth Elliot

Philip James Elliot