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Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

On Fridays I post FFF to stop and recall blessings of the previous week. Suzanne sponsors this exercise at Living to Tell the Story and invites you to participate too!

Last week I posted on Tuesday so posting on Monday this time is an improvement, eh? Maybe I’ll eventually get back to posting on Fridays

1. Tax info completed – I worked through the week to get our 2017 files sorted and all our tax information recorded. I handed it all over to our tax preparer yesterday. In the past working on taxes was, well, taxing, and very stressful for me. This year was much less stressful, and I am grateful for that blessing.

2. Celebrating a record – or maybe not– Thursday the Edmonton area set a weather record: 167 consecutive days where the temperature did not stay above 0C for a full day. And the year to date warmest temperature in 2018 was in January. And it snowed a couple of inches yesterday. And we still have piles of snow in the yard. Hmmm. A few 10-degree C days should make it seem more spring-like. One can hope!

3. A tale of two coffee companies – My husband likes Tim Hortons’ coffee. I can’t drink coffee or black tea, but Starbucks creates the matcha beverages I enjoy. Our friends and family know our brand preferences and we are frequently blessed with gift cards for the two companies.

I usually register our gift cards to garner rewards, keep track of balances, transfer money online from one card to another, reload a card when it’s close to zero funds, and have a record in case a card is lost or stolen.

Recently we had problems with both coffee giants.

I had mistakenly reloaded two registered Tim’s card which had been previously tossed out once the card balances hit zero. In the past I would log in and, in a minute or less, could transfer funds from the registered card we had thrown away to the current card my husband carried.

I see you all shaking your heads. Yes, this little problem has happened before. You’d think communication between the one who uses the card and the one who reloads the card for him would be flawless after 38 years of marriage. It’s more a matter of the ‘throw away the useless stuff’ minimalist thinking vs the ‘this still can be used by someone’ collector and recycler thinking. Don’t worry. We’re still working on a harmonious compromise.

However, Tim Hortons has recently suspended the online feature which allows the customer of registered cards to transfer funds from one card to another, and I had to contact customer service to ask them to do it. I first sent an e-mail asking them to take care of this for me. Yes, it was my mistake initially, but could they please make the transfer for me? After one week I received a reply. I needed to call the customer service number for assistance.

So, I called. The customer service rep was very courteous and took down my information, informing me it would take 3 to 5 business days to take care of the transfer. She gave me a ticket number for my request. I could call back if the transaction did not show up online by the end of 5 business days. After 5 days no changes were made so I called back. Very courteously another CS rep apologized and told me she would resubmit the request but that it would take another 3 to 5 days to complete my request. This went on for over a month. Each time I spoke with a different courteous and very apologetic rep. They were sorry, they were unable to take care of the problem themselves, they would try and mark it as urgent, they were unable to call me back about the problem, and the issue was out of their hands. And each time was told to call back in 3 -5 business days. After a few calls one of the balances was transferred but not the other. Finally, this week, and after multiple calls, the money was all transferred.  A transfer which used to take less than a minute had taken over a month to complete.

Starbucks has recently changed their ‘recipe’ for the matcha frappuccino I enjoy. My husband will occasionally offer to pick up the treat for me on his way home from work but asks me to mobile order so he can grab it quickly. For a yet unknown reason when the recipe changed I was no longer able to mobile order the frap. It was still available but not through mobile ordering. I asked at my local SB and, unable to fix the problem themselves, they gave me the customer service number to call. A very courteous rep took my information and wrote up my concern. She apologized for the trouble and told me a district rep would call me within 48 hours to let me know why I was unable to mobile order my beverage. She then told me she had loaded $15 on my card because of my troubles.

Sure enough, a day later the rep called and told me that the mobile ordering for my drink worked fine in the States but until my call, SB did not realize we could not mobile order the frap anywhere in Canada, and that was a problem they wanted to fix. She contacted app guys in the tech department and would call me back when they did their thing. In the meantime, one of the managers at our local store has been calling HQ for updates and letting me know the progress of my request. Though it’s not fixed yet, SB has been going out of their way to keep me posted while working to resolve the problem.

My staunch TH hubby is now wavering. He could not believe how long it took to complete the simple transaction and how long our funds were unavailable to us one we requested the transfer. More frequently the coffee or tea he orders have not been what he receives. TH has recently fallen out of favor with many Canadians for other reasons, but our recent experiences have him singing the praises of SB, something I never thought I’d hear.

4. Blessings in the lives of my kids – This past week two of my daughters had some recognition for hard work and jobs well done. We are so happy for their success!

5. Anticipation – I am eager to receive my first two iron infusions this week. Though I have been warned it will take up to three months to feel normal again, I’m hoping at least to begin feeling better soon. And hopefully to avoid some of the side effects some people experience!

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FFF tulips

Though I am geographically and otherwise challenged, I do realize that today is actually Saturday. I was interrupted in preparing this yesterday and did not get back to it. I still want to take time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story . Happy FFF a day late!

1. Fun on the farm My husband was asked to preach last Sunday in a church about two hours north of us. We appreciated reacquainting ourselves with believers we had known from our previous church. Sunday afternoon we had a meal with a family on their farm. The youngest daughter brought two baby lambs into the house to ‘introduce to us.’ These wee ones were just a day or so old. So cute!

2. I love flowers Monday my daughter’s boyfriend brought me a lovely African violet. I love purple!! Looking at that plant reminded me of my mom who lovingly tended dozens of African violets in her large kitchen window. Those violets grew like crazy and mom was always dividing them and giving away ‘slips’ to anyone who showed interest in her flowers. My family, on the other hand, is deciding among themselves how long it will take me to kill off this plant. I *ahem* do not have a good track record in this area. Sigh.

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3. Taxes almost done My part for preparing taxes is all done and in for Canada and almost done for the US. Yay!

4. My sister-in-law I was able to Skype with my sister-in-law, a dear friend. She is my husband’s barely older sister (less than a year) and we were married in a double wedding almost 36 years ago. I sure am blessed by long-lasting friendships and for the ability in this day and age to talk with loved ones who live far from us.

5. Loving daughters This week the three daughters who live nearby each stopped by separately to spend a bit of time with me. Such a blessing!

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Welcome to Friday’s Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, in which we can share five of our favorite things from the last week, a wonderful exercise in looking for and appreciating the good things God blesses us with. Click on the button to learn more, then go to Susanne’s to read others’ faves and link up your own.

1. Is it spring yet?  Because of my limited mobility, this year I find myself REALLY longing for winter to be over.  The ice is enemy to my ability to get around on my own.  But as in all things, we can turn our thoughts, this time to the blessings that accompany wintry weather.  The past week as been full of sunshine!  I am very grateful for the longer days and that it has been warming up to minus eight to ten during the day.  My kitchen is particularly sunny in the afternoon because it faces south.  This is a view from our kitchen garden doors:Sunshine on the snow

Plus the trees and bushes look pretty when the sun shines on the ice and snow!

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2. Mondays are family night.  Our daughters and their roommate come over and we share a meal and talk or watch a favorite BBC program.  Sometimes I make the meal and sometimes they pick up a roasted chicken and a salad from the store on the way home from work. It’s a real blessing to have them living nearby and for the fellowship we enjoy together.

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3. Hangout with our kids in China. Our other two children live in China.  I am extremely grateful for Skype, Hangouts, and other media that allows us to have a weekly face to face chat.  It’s great to be able to talk with our youngest daughter then have our son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren pop into her room and visit with us too.  One of the greatest sacrifice missionaries of old had to face was the possibility of never seeing family again once they left for the field.  We are so blessed to be able to communicate every day if we wish.

Christmas chat from China 1

4. Memories of my mom. As I was cleaning out 2013 files in order to prepare for tax time, I came across the results of old allergy testing I had when I was ten.  I had uncovered it when going through files I had collected from my parents’ home when we sold their house.  Because I had food sensitivity testing last summer I stuck the ancient file in with my current one.  In various places on those test results I saw notations in my mother’s handwriting, and loving memories of my mom flooded my heart and mind.  I was blessed beyond measure to have a godly, loving mother and I look forward to seeing her again in heaven one day.

Janet Zook circa 1950 001

5. Taxes The thing I hate most to do every year is taxes.  Because we are dual citizens we have to file in two countries, and because my husband’s work does not fall into one simple category, we have to keep track of a lot of things for tax time.  Normally it is a very stressful time for me.  However this year I got an early start, did not feel at all stressed by doing it, and am actually almost all done with my part.  This is a big, big blessing to me!

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