The homestead exemption allows low-income senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans, to reduce their property tax bills, by shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation. The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt up to $25,000 of the market value of their homes from all local property taxes. For example, through the homestead exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 is billed as if it is worth $75,000.
The exact amount of savings varies from location to location. But overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowners saved an average of about $435 per taxpayer during the 2011 tax year. The tax exemption is limited to the homestead, which Ohio law defines as an owner’s dwelling and up to one acre of land. The value of the exemption may not exceed the value of the homestead.
Outside my window the sun just recently rose and is casting it's light on the trees across the street, creating shadows on the lawn. the oaks and maples maintain their leaves yet, in shades of gold while most other trees have become skeletal until Spring. squirrels scamper to and fro, foraging for the coming cold. Pampas grass sways just ever so slightly.
I am thinking this will most likely be one of the last and truly nice fall days here in Ohio.
I am thankful for so many things, but thinking of my dogs, Reggie and Juju and how much love, comfort, companionship and enjoyment they bring into our lives.
In the kitchen I have just put fixings for split pea soup into the crockpot. the dishes still need done.
I am wearing my nightgown still, long and white with blue-green flowers on it.
I am creating a multicolor triangular shawl.
I am going to our local meat market today to stock our freezer for the month.
I am wondering if I'll find my way back to the simple woman I used to be.
I am reading 'Catcher in the Rye' because I've never read any of the classics, old or modern.
I am hoping to feel more awake and lively sometime soon.
I am looking forward to 'Sons of Anarchy' tonight.
I am learning just how much I've let go of who I was five years ago before my husband died and how much I miss that person.
Around the house everything needs caught up.
I am pondering the holidays approaching soon and trying to decide exactly what we're doing.
A favorite quote for today..."If not now, when?" I need to remember this because it's applicable in every way.
One of my favorite things is a sense of order which right now is lacking in my life.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
do laundry, get groceries, sort items for donation, list on etsy.
A peek into my day:
dogs out, dogs in, dogs fed, give meds to sick dog, (repeat, repeat, repeat) prep what's for dinner, start laundry, get dressed, go to store, coffee, home and carry on. that sums up just about every day.
...we didn't have the technology to communicate and connect with others like we do now. if you're my age you probably think about that now and then. if you're younger probably not so much. i remember still the days when you not only took the time, but had the time to sit down and write a lengthy letter to a friend or relative. today we text or call or message via facebook, etc. we know what our friends are eating, drinking, doing, did, where they're at, going to or have been, what they bought, how they feel on a moment to moment basis, what games they play and the list goes on. it seems we simply can't be without our cell phones and our aps.
i'll say this, i am grateful for the ability to communicate easily with my family and friends at any given time, yes. and oh how i love the internet for searching out information, whether it's researching a particular subject or looking for a new recipe.
now i sometimes hardly believe in the concept of good vs. bad in some of cases. technology is one of them. it's what you make it. it has such great benefit in our lives. at times. the point i'm trying to make here is that we all complain at one time or another about how busy and stressful our lives are. yet we can't seem to put our phones or computers aside long enough to give ourselves a break. just look around at what's happening. i watch children walking home from school every day. are they talking or laughing amongst themselves? rarely. they're all too busy with their attention on the phones in their hands. adults? the same. if they're jogging or walking they have their earbuds in or are busy looking at their phones. i can't tell you how many times i have had pedestrians walk out in front of my car because their mind was on their phone, not on their surroundings. (i promise i won't even get into drivers on phones.)
and, what's really oxymoronic is that while we're in constant communication with others we've forgotten how to actually be social in our immediate surroundings. i'm sure i'm not the only one who has had friends over and had the time together interrupted repeatedly by someone's cell phone. well, (sigh) there goes any chance of a deep or meaningful conversation. we just don't often seem to get far enough in face to face communication to actually get to the heart of a matter before we need to answer a call or a text, or wait until after our friend does. as technology has enabled us to broaden our social network we have actually become less and less capable or willing to participate in face to face communication. i think that is a very sad thing.
do you know how to simply sit with yourself? do you take time to listen to you? can we stop scrolling or texting long enough to really connect to each other and ourselves? commit to it! yep, that's right. why not commit to a routine of turning off your device for an decent amount of time each day? spend some time getting to know yourself. take a walk, sit in the park, be creative, meditate. or meet a friend for coffee and actually spend that time with them, really talk, make eye contact, phone turned off and in your purse or pocket. don't you even look at it. better yet, be brave enough to leave it at home if you're not going far. just think, in the days before cell phone we had no choice. seriously, it's not such a big deal.
my point is this. we clutter our lives every day with so much that's not only unnecessary but actually takes away from our peace of mind and quality of life. all this unnecessary information and time spent sharing needless data adds to our mental overload and takes away from our being present enough to enjoy life in the moment. too much input, too little time, freedom and actual awareness of the moment=STRESS. i don't know about you, but daily events are often stressful enough without my adding to it needlessly. turn your phone or tv or computer OFF. relish some down time. find out what your breathing sounds like, hear the sounds of nature, smell the air, feel the creative experience, experience what's real; the life and beauty within and around us. it's what helps us recharge and be better able to deal with all the other commotion our day may present. get yourself some peace! it's available if you want it. and it's free!
just a few ideas on real socializing
designate a technology free day for yourself. you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
or if that sounds like too much to handle, begin with a technology free hour each day.
if a group is going out to dinner, have everyone put their cell phones in a pile in the center of the table with the agreement that whoever reaches for their phone before actually leaving has to foot the bill.
actually have sit down dinners at home with the family. all phones off and away from the table. take this time to really communicate, listen and reconnect face to face. if you can't do it every day, try to at least once or twice a week.
have a family game night. no tv, no phones, no computers, no playstation. how about a card game, a board game or some story telling? or even a popcorn fight! :)
get together with friends. take turns hosting get togethers (dinner, picnic, potluck, game night for example). no phones allowed!
note-do not use this if you're on a yeast free diet. vanilla and vanilla flavoring both contain alcohol or glycol which is made from fermented yeast. either way, it will feed your yeast. found this out the hard way. read labels!
we love yogurt, for breakfast or anytime you need a little something between meals. the problem is that you've got two choices at the supermarket: yogurt with sugar or yogurt with artificial sweeteners. we don't do artificial sweeteners at all. normally we chose one with sugar. but now, since we've gone sugar free it was a choice between no yogurt or devising a way to have our yogurt and eat it, too. here's my simple and tasty solution...
sugar free vanilla yogurt
1 large container (approx. 4 cups) stoneyfield organic plain yogurt, lowfat (or make your own yogurt from scratch)
1 T. vanilla extract
stevia equal to 2 1/2-3 T. sugar ( i use the individual packets purchased at Aldie)
mix it up in a bowl and return to original container or do like i do. i mix it right in the original container by using a long handled ice tea spoon. no muss, no fuss! enjoy!
unfortunately i didn't get a photo of these yummy fajitas, but i will give you the recipe for the yummy marinade i used for the chicken. this could as easily be used on pork or beef. serves 2 very generously.
you will need: 2 large or 3 med. chicken breasts 1 large green pepper 1 large onion 3-4 eggs marinade
if you have the really big breasts, (like me, lol!...sorry), cut them into 2 or 3 thinner sections by slicing them at an angle. this way they'll cook up quicker and less dry. i would even cut the smaller ones in half to be honest. place chicken breasts in shallow container.
Marinade: in a small bowl combine the following ingredients: 4 T lemon juice 4 T olive oil i minced garlic clove 1/2 t. salt 1/2 t. cumin 1/2 t. chili powder 1/2 seeded, minced jalapeño pepper 1/8 c. dry cilantro (you can be more daring with your spices if you like and add more. i made it according to the recipe and it's very mildly spicy.) mix these ingredients together well and pour over chicken breasts, covering each one. this can marinate for up to 8 hours in the fridge. if you have less time marinate 30 minutes at room temp. while this is marinating slice up 1 large green pepper and 1 large onion. when ready to begin, remove chicken pieces from marinade and lay out on paper towels. cover with paper towels and pat moisture off. heat small amount of olive oil in skillet until hot. cook chicken pieces until well browned, turning when necessary. they should brown nicely and cook up fairly quick. once done, remove from heat and place on plate or cutting board. wipe skillet with paper towels. return skillet to stove top and add small amount of olive oil. add chopped veggies and sauté until tender crisp. now for the final step, while veggies are sautéing, heat another skillet, adding oil or butter. whip up 3-4 eggs to make two individual thin omelets. sorry, i'm not going to tell you how to make an omelet and you can skip this step if you just want to serve your fajitas as is. but don't fold your omelet. leave it open and slide onto a ready plate when done. when everything is done and each plate has an omelet on it, pile with fajita meat. cover the fajita meat with the sautéed veggies. top with salsa, sour cream or guacamole or a combination. i liked mine with a big dollop of guacamole on top. these were delicious! i hope i haven't made this sound too complicated. i will actually use this marinade for steak, chicken or pork for a nice change of pace even if not making fajitas. it's very good.