Thursday, October 20, 2011

Christmas is coming fast

In years past, I would have most of my Christmas shopping done by now. As in over and out. Wrapped even. This year, not so much. I did pick up a book my DS wants that was on sale awhile back. And I have collected a few stocking stuffers. But that's about it. Yesterday, I sat down and tried to make a list. My kids are older and don't expect an over-the-top celebration. They really are good kids and are always thrilled with whatever they are given. Because of that, I try hard to find a few gifts that they will really enjoy. It doesn't have to be expensive, but sometimes thoughtful is harder than expensive.

I remembered this morning that my daughter has mentioned in the past how much she likes the advent calendar I pull out every year. While I was thinking about it, I got an email with a 25% coupon for a store that would have one she likes. So I went searching and found it. Without the coupon, it would be a no-go. Too expensive. As I was pondering what to do, another email arrived from the same store with another coupon - this one for free shipping today only. That did it. Clearly, this was meant to be. I ordered it (using the debit card, not credit), saved $20 in the process, and marked her gift off my list.

Feeling good about things, I decided to post here and found that this post is #100! Wow. Another sense of accomplishment.

This day is off to a good start.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

The budget just went to the dogs

I made an unexpected visit to the vet's office yesterday. I really hate going there. Not that I don't care about the dog's health, but it's impossible to get out without a humongous bill. Max had a cyst on his back that ruptured and needed antibiotics. And he was due for a couple of vaccines. And that's where it gets tricky - figuring out what he needs vs. what they're trying to sell. I turned down the bordetella vaccine - Max stays indoors and doesn't ever get boarded or socialize with other dogs. Then there was the blood panel to get a baseline for "senior" dogs and several other tests. When I declined, you would have thought I was signing his death certificate. I let them do a heartworm check, though I later regretted it. Max takes his heartworm pills and, again, stays indoors except for potty breaks.

It's so hard to draw the line when you're being looked at as the worst doggie mom in the world. The final bill listed the charges for what I had allowed. And then there were five or six items listed with DECLINED written beside them. I mean, what was the point of putting those on the bill if not to make sure I was feeling plenty guilty? The final bill was $225, which had to go on the credit card. Enough guilt there to cover everything else.

How do you decide how far is far enough when it comes to a furry friend?


Thursday, October 6, 2011

My kid rocks!!

After a crummy September, DS has had a pretty terrific week. He has applied to four colleges and on Tuesday was accepted to the first. On Wednesday, the second. And today brought acceptance #3. Even better, the private school in the bunch offered him a $44,000 scholarship, bringing the tuition down to public school level. The last school he applied to is actually his first choice. And that school doesn't make decisions until December. So we still don't know where he'll be going next year, but he's relieved to know he'll be going somewhere!

On top of that, his middle school drama teacher contacted him and asked him to join an acting troupe she is leading at the local community theater. The fees are normally $225, but she had already gotten approval for a scholarship for him so it won't cost anything! The whole exchange brought me to tears. That this woman would go out of her way to include a child with significant physical disabilities. And that she would make sure money didn't stand in the way of him being able to participate.

How awesome is that?!