We'll mail in our State taxes, since we have to send a check with that one. It's worked out that way the last two years. It seems they're taking too much out for Federal and not enough out for the State, so then we use our Federal refund to pay our State taxes. I think our penalty this year was sixteen dollars. That's okay. Colorado doesn't charge income tax on the first twenty thousand a retiree earns. I'll gladly give them the sixteen.
Tomorrow I'm going to a writer's round table discussion at a library about an hour from here. It's like Author's Musical Chairs. There are eight authors, each with their own circle of chairs. We'll have a discussion group with each author before moving on to the next. It should be really great.
One of my favorite authors, Melissa Mayhue, will be there. I have all of her books except the one that came out last week, and I can get it while I'm there, as well as have her sign the only one of hers I have that isn't already signed. Don't expect me to be posting much in the next couple of days—or sleeping much either. Her books grab me and keep me so involved I forget things like eating and sleeping. If you're new to her, do yourself a favor and just buy all the books and start with the first. Read them in order. They all stand alone, but they do build on one another in many ways.
Robin D. Owens is also going to be there, and she's another one of my friendly local authors. Her fantasies are legendary and fly off the shelves. I've often had to wait if I want to buy locally. I usually end up going to Amazon if I miss out when her books first arrive. These ladies are so talented that it amazes me when they remember my name. I know Robin has a new book out, too, so I'm glad I've got few bucks in my pocket for after the discussion groups.
Knowing this was coming up and that I'd be coming home with some really special reading material, I've been cooking up a storm this week. We have three nights of leftovers all ready! John and I will eat like royalty for only the amount of time it takes to reheat what I've already prepared. If you want to be a serious reader, it's important to plan ahead.
A few words about what made my birthday so special. I talked to all three of our sons, and that was great. They're all in great places and happy with their lives, so it's wonderful to talk to them. John took me to the Olive Garden for my favorite meal, Toscana Soup and Stuffed Chicken Marsala. My daughter-in-law Ruth sent me a wonderful recording of three year old Granddaughter Ashley singing Happy Birthday and telling me how much she loves me. (It's already on my iPod for eternity, or as long as the iPod lasts...)
Perhaps one of the best things we did, as far as making me feel great, was visiting our friend Darrel in the hospital in Fort Collins. He's been in there a month now since his surgery for pancreatic cancer. He's not out of the woods yet, and needs another surgery when they think he's strong enough, but his improvement this week gave me real hope. When we left there I was really feeling good. It was just one of those days where everything was sweet. And if you were one of the people who remembered me with a card in the mail, a phone call or a greeting on Facebook—thank you so much. That just added to the day-long celebration.