Really? What now?

But first, some adorableness. I had a parade following me this morning!

I had three others behind me as I headed back to the house. When I stopped to take this picture, Pointy Baby actually started running towards me! He is one of the few that lets me carry him while I walk. The others prefer to get underfoot on the path! It’s hard packed snow, but if my foot slides off while trying to not step on a fur ball, I sink a good 6 inches or more.

I so look forward to the snow being gone.

I so look forward to being done with other things, too.

Like car trouble.

Yesterday, I left early to go meet our beef supplier and pick up a BBQ freezer pack; three kinds of steak, burger patties, and two different types of farmer’s sausage.

It’s a good thing I left early, because I intended to use my mother’s car. I haven’t driven it in almost a week, and it was running just fine.

I didn’t notice anything wrong while on the gravel road, since everything shakes anyhow, but once I got on the highway, the whole car was still shuddering. When I got to highway speeds, I didn’t even get a mile before I pulled over. It felt like the wheels were about to fall off! I walked around and kicked the tires, but there wasn’t much I could do on the side of the road. I decided to go home and take the van.

The van hasn’t been driven for a couple of days, and it did NOT want to start! Once it did start, it ran fine, and started without problems after that.


After looking up the different possible causes for the shuddering in my mother’s car, I ruled out most of them. It didn’t have the right “symptoms”. I ended up emailing my brother about it, and we later talked on the phone. He suspects a U joint or the drive shaft.

Whatever it is, we can’t do anything about it right now. Our “unallocated funds” have already gone to replacing the tire on the van, and a few other things. Unless we go into the replacement vehicle fund, which I really don’t want to do!

I’ll talk to our mechanic later. If nothing else, I can get it towed to the garage, later in the month, and he can check it. We certainly won’t be driving it again until we have some idea of what’s going on. I also want to stick my phone under the car and try to get some pictures. I forgot to do that while doing my rounds this morning, but I’m going out again this afternoon, so I’ll do it later.

Speaking of other things funds went to, I ended up buying two different brands of tax software, and I am so incredibly frustrated. I got TurboTax again, after having problems with Ufile.

Our tax returns are simple. At least they should be. My husband has a T4A for his private insurance disability payments, and a T4A(P) for his CPP Disability. He qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit. I have zero income, and can get the Caregivers Tax Credit. Besides that, we can claim medical expenses. That’s it.

Well, with Ufile, I first had to find where the T4A and T4A(P) even was. Their category names didn’t match what was in them very well. It was very confusing, and when I did find the right form, it was missing lines. For the T4A, there was the line for what taxes are taken off, but none for the income. I went looking through the help section, where it to told me where I could input the income line from the T4A instead… and those lines didn’t come up anywhere, either! I could find nowhere to claim the Disability Tax Credit, nor my Caregivers Tax Credit.

So I got TurboTax and discovered it’s completely changed in format, but I did figure out most of it. Enough to “finish” our taxes – but while it apparently did claim my husband’s Disability Tax Credit, it wasn’t calculated into the return. For the past few years, he would come up as owing money until the credit was factored in, so he’d get the credit, minus what he would have owed. This time, he came up as getting a return… but no credit. As for mine, there was no option to apply for the Caregivers Tax Credit, so mine came to nothing at all. I went to the Canada Revenue Agency website and found the exact line numbers to apply for the credits, finally found them by going through the forms in the advanced sections – but it wouldn’t let me input anything, because our returns were already calculated, therefore it was finished. No, I had not filed them. I just saved them.

We’re looking at a difference of several thousand dollars in our favour, here.

After bashing my head against it, I finally threw in the towel.

Today, I’m going in to a tax preparer to get it done. If she can straighten this out, it’ll be well worth the fees! Especially since, according to the CRA website, there are two different amounts I can claim for under the Caregiver’s Tax Credit.

It shouldn’t be this difficult to do such basic tax returns.

I had other plans for today, but they will have to wait.

Meanwhile, I’m going to be driving around with the van again, when I really want to be using it as little as possible, all because something has suddenly gone wrong with my mother’s car!


The Re-Farmer


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