Hi sweeties! We are fast approaching that dreaded day of April 15 when everyone must face the music and pay their federal income tax or if you are truly lucky, you get a refund. For those who know they must pay and must file before long, I found the following article to help you along the way:

Begin by emptying your house of all loved ones. This is because your children are not yet old enough to see the behavior you may exhibit in the hours ahead. Send them to church, to the library or to the movies. Be sure you will have several hours alone to tackle this project. Next, recall that famous line from Dirty Harry, "a man's got to know his limitations." Stop for a moment to access your current state before beginning your taxes. Did you relax and pet the dog (or cat) for a few minutes after work to calm down from your commute home in heavy traffic? Have you eaten recently? Did you go for a walk or stretch after eating to be in a reasonable sound physical state?

OK, now you are ready to set up your chosen tax command post. From this location you will want plenty of flat surface area. The kitchen table? And all nearby counter tops. And the seats of the chairs. Or the desk in your study? And all the available floor space and window sills. Be sure you are fully supplied with pens, pencils, erasers, paper clips, scotch tape, and a large waste basket. (Maybe a shredder when you are absolutely, positively, 100 percent certain, you will never-need-that-piece-of-paper again).

And this is the 21st century after all. You'll need your trusty PC. With all the registered trademark software to help with your taxes — Word, Excel, Quicken, Turbo Tax, etc. (Which you confirmed was loaded and working properly over the President's Day holiday in February). Oh, and did you fill the coffee pot, your favorite brew of rich arabica? It will likely be a long night and you may need all the help you can get! A couple of your favorite chocolate bars nearby would be a nice touch. For later. You know. When you need a little pick-me-up reward. You are doing your taxes after all.

This is the moment you've been waiting for. Putting off actually.

Spread out all your tax receipts in neat and orderly piles. Select a pattern to group them logically. Carefully sort them, paying close attention to which ones go on which piles. Take special care not to spill your coffee on them. After all, "I spilled my coffee on them" is right up there with "the dog at my homework" if you know what I mean.

Now open your tax forms or tax software. Stare blankly for a few moments. Cry if you need to. Have another cup of coffee. It's also time for your second chocolate candy bar. Savor the moment.

Finally, gather up all the forms, all the files, and all the receipts. Place them all in a large cardboard box. Welcome your kids home and enjoy a moment with them before bedtime.

And tomorrow, take the big box and your checkbook to a trusted tax professional, they love this stuff!

Birthdays being celebrated this week include: March 20 – Dave Cheuvront, Debbie Burnett and Dustin Spreng; March 21 – Sally Warbel, Kathy Williams, Jack Heller, Terry Aker and Nathan Gray; March 22 - Aimie Kline, Steve Conrad and DeAndre Smith (the big 2-5); March 23 – Janet Ayers, Mike Bash and Larry Lozier; March 24 – Dave Christine and Sally Hiner; March 25 – Bob Keener, Bonnie Weirick, Scott Smart and Madeline Rieser (she’s 13); March 26 – John McMullen.

Belated wishes to Matthew Kandel who celebrated his 39th on March 14.

Many happy returns of the day!

Only one wedding anniversary to note this week: Cliff and JoAnn Schaffer, their 33rd, on March 23. Congratulations!

Finally — If you have birthdays or wedding anniversaries or cute stories to share, just call 419-938-7682 and leave message. I will call you as soon as I can. We very seldom answer our phone directly because of so many telemarketers.

Have a great week!