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February 28, 2020


That's a nice sight to wake up to.

Your parents were certainly very busy! And I grumble about my lot.

Sleeping in the basement may increase your exposure to (radioactive) radon, which accumulates there. Be sure to air the basement thoroughly on a daily basis.

It's both a blessing and a curse that my taxes are so simple that I just put down how much I made, how much I paid and then figure out if I paid too much or too little. The blessing is that my return has been in the bank for a week. The curse is that being single I pay dearly (25% between FICA, SS & medicare taxes). At least I don't have to keep track of anything :)

Stu - I would be surprised if readings weren't taken when the house was built and, if needed, a radon mitigation system put in as a matter of course in order to get an occupancy permit.

Liz--Dad & Mom were nearly always "on the go", taking the occasional day to kick back and "do nothing".

Stu--You are correct that radon is a concern in Kansas. As Bogie commented, the sale/occupancy of a house is generally accompanied by disclosures from seller to buyer. For instance, in selling HH's house after we moved here, part of the process was having the radon in the basement measured by a licensed technician and making that information available to the buyer. It was low. This is not a requirement by law, but by best practices in this area. Added to that: there are only two areas in our basement that haven't great circulation - the shop and the book closet that is part of HH's den suite. All other rooms have at least two doors, providing good air circulation. (One of the things that I had done when I moved my bedroom to the basement was to add a door between my new bedroom and the bathroom. It doesn't really make access to the bathroom that much more convenient but it certainly gives the room better air circulation!)

Bogie--I understand about the filing single. That is one of the reasons that, eventually, we started filing our taxes, jointly. We were paying a penalty for filing separately. Unfortunately, you've no option to file jointly. BTW: It was a shock to your dad when he (finally) learned that the more income one has, the more one pays for Medicare. Since our Medicare payments are deducted from our Social Security payments (which he had not realized), he hadn't tumbled onto that fact. (I should point out that "over-seeing" our insurance - health, prescription, car, house, umbrella - is my responsibility; so, it is understandable that HH might have missed that detail on Medicare.)

P.S. Notice to All: I took advantage of it's being Sadie Hawkins' Day, yesterday, and asked HH if he would remain married to me. He said, "Yes". Yay!

Congrats on going for another wedded year regardless of who asked who! Always nice to see new growth emerging as your photos reveal. Think I better get busy on my taxes though I did hire someone last year and could still do it again I guess. Is radon a potential concern in basements in all states? I don’t have a basement but a family member does in Midwest.

Stu--I failed to tell you that, in this house, the stairway to the basement provides constant air flow as there is no door (top or bottom) and there is but a half-wall between the stairway and hallway, above.

Joared--Thank you! Incidence of radon depends upon geology.

Interactive maps of the Lower 48 States are found on the AirRadonCheck website and for all of the states at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.

Further information on radon and state radon testing requirements may be found at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

BTW: At that last website I found the Kansas Statute, causing me to amend my above comment. Although testing is not required for sale of a house, a statement of disclosure is required by law. The statute reads, "Each contract for the sale of residential real property shall contain the following language: “Every buyer of residential real property is notified that the property may present exposure to dangerous concentrations of indoor radon gas that may place occupants at risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer. Radon, a class-A human carcinogen, is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause overall. Kansas law requires sellers to disclose any information known to the seller that shows elevated concentrations of radon gas in residential real property.""

Another mitigating factor for Radon in our house: Our HVAC system fan is always "on", circulating the air in the upstairs and in the basement - even in the aforementioned shop (but not in the book closet, itself). I had forgotten about it. It is so quiet that we don't hear it.

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