Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 722

I paid my real estate taxes today. Somehow, even though I successfully presented my case to the county appraisal board this Summer and they reduced my property valuation by 15%, I still ended up paying more than I did last year. I think it is futile to expect lower taxes. Government agencies at all levels have such an insatiable demand for tax revenue that even when rates are lowered, they figure out some way to make up the difference. Since property values have decreased significantly in Dallas County and virtually everybody has already protested their property valuation with the appraisal board, the county simply raised the taxation rate a few percentage points to make up the shortfall. Homeowners are totally on the short end of the stick. Their homes are worth less, but they still end up paying higher property taxes.

Winter is here with a vengeance. The furnace runs almost constantly now and the car has started to make funny noises when I start it up on cold mornings. Winter weather seems to put more wear and tear on everything. Somehow, a lot more things tend to break around our house during the Winter months. Hopefully, we'll get lucky this year. I think the entire rainy day fund went out the window this year when I paid those real estate taxes this afternoon.

I don't think the Dot and Dash like the Winter weather any more than I do. They both seem to spend most of their day curled up under a pile of dog blankets. When we do go outside, I have to put Winter coats on them, before I bundle up under several layers myself. I do have one really warm parka that I used to wear when I lived in Alaska. It's in the storage warehouse though, and it is often easier to just put on several layers of sweaters than drive across town to get yet another coat.

If it wasn't for the bitterly cold weather and the coyotes, I'd love our evening walks this week. The sky is beautiful at this time of year. The days are even shorter now. We tend to take our walks right after sunset and get to watch each evening as darkness overtakes the park. It's hard to take pictures though. I have to take off my gloves every time every time I try to use the iPhone touch screen.

Humphrey is our Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day