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It only took 4 1/2 months or so, but it has arrived.  That is, our first-time homebuyer tax credit check!  It takes less time for a bald eagle to go from egg to feathered beaut.  In less time, we also could have birthed an emperor penguin or a litter of puppies.  Oh well. 

As soon as we got the keys to our new home, dropped off a couple of boxes and got robbed (ahhh, the image of the footprint on my freakin’ pillow remains … at least now I can brush it off as a life experience! ha!), we amended our 2008 taxes to get the $8,000 credit.  From our mortgage lender, we heard the checks were arriving in the mail within 4-8 weeks.  And, at the time, that was probably true.   (Currently, the IRS Web site says: Keep in mind, however, that it is currently taking longer than normal — about 12 to 16 weeks — to process 2008 amended returns.)

By January, we started asking other people who we knew recently purchased a home and were eligible for the tax credit if they had received any good news.  No.  Well, any news at all?  Nada.  Zip.  So, we put on our Inspector Gadget hat and called. 

IRS: We have you in our system, and I’m seeing that your account has been credited.  I’m not sure how long it will be before it’s completely processed, though.  Call back in two weeks.

Two weeks later, IRS: Check your mail this week.

And, there it was.  Huzzah!  So, keep your head up First-timers!!

I hope everyone who celebrated over the holiday weekend had a great one!  I know we did 🙂  Nothing beats a long weekend … family, good food and chillaxing.  Yesterday, JP and I headed south to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.  JP gets to go here all the time for work – and I’m officially jealous.

The Refuge is a little bit of real Florida tucked just out of sight of any Targets, Walgreens or chain restaurants.  The Refuge was established in 1951 through an agreement between the South Florida Water Management District and the US Fish & Wildlife Service.  Today, the SFWMD (JP) manages several parts of this land, including water pump stations and a 57-mile levee.  The Refuge is the northernmost point of the Everglades, covering over 221 square miles.  Alligators, armadillos and tons of birds – bald eagles, ibis, turkey vultures, herons – call this place home, and boaters, bikers, hikers and canoers (is that a word?) can check it out.  We packed our bikes and hit the trail for some leisurely sightseeing, and the exercise didn’t hurt.  (My thighs are hating me.  I really need to work out more.  I’ll save that for 2010.)

It’s that time.  Season, as those in the restaurant world might say.  The birds are back.  Not these birds, fortunately, rather the South Florida Birds.  The white-haired, Estee Lauder-perfume-smelling birds.  The birds that forget to use their blinker and tend to always ride in the left lane.  Yes.  Those birds.  They’re not all bad birds, of course. 

JP propsed the question, “Would you pledge to never visit New York, if that meant one person (i.e., snowbird) couldn’t come to Florida in the winter?”  Since I’ve already been to New York, and the only person I know who lives there doesn’t live there anymore (NYGirl4EVA moved to Jersey! Ha!), I think my answer might be … yes?

In any event, the birds are also a sign of good things — holiday cheer, colorful lights, fattening foodstuffs, Publix commercials that make me cry.  The usual suspects.  With Thanksgiving over, it’s just a hop-skip away until Christmas … then NYE … then JP’s birthday ….  The pah-tay never stops, huh?

It’s been awhile since I actually removed some of the pics on my lil’ Olympus digi cam.  Here are the random visual goodies I found:

in da' club  Checking out some art while in Tampa a couple of weeks ago and saw this.  I thought, this is totally what I look like in da’ club.  Perhaps less bronze, though.  Holla now!!!

foreclosed  Bumping around downtown West Palm Beach, I just noticed what this building is – Foreclosure Assistance Center.  I would think there would be a line out the front door…

t-shirt  This guy was at the NIN/Jane’s Addiction concert and I quite liked his tee.  But it made me wonder, why he is just targeting bulls?  What about dog shit?  Or bird shit? 

rice  Loved these red take away rice containers from Wild Ginger (new Asian food restaurant in Cityplace).  A nice change from the white take away containers you usually get.

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